Why Does Meghan Markle Still Use Her Maiden Name?

The royal family has a lot of rules and regulations, especially when it comes to names and royal titles. After marrying into the royal family in May 2018, Meghan Markle officially became a member of the Mountbatten-Windsors and the Duchess of Sussex. However, many still refer to Meghan Markle by her maiden name.

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Meghan Markle’s maiden name

Although the public, press, and paparazzi still call the Duchess of Sussex “Meghan Markle,” she doesn’t actually use her maiden name anymore. In fact, she doesn’t even have a last name now.

In the royal family, dukedoms are one of the highest ranking titles. Queen Elizabeth and other members of the monarchy believe that if one holds a dukedom, they are so well-known that they don’t need to use a last name. So, instead of changing her name, she simply just dropped it and goes by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex now.

That said, if the Duchess of Sussex did need to use a surname, she has a couple of new ones to choose from. For one, she could use the royal family’s last name, Mountbatten-Windsor. However, she is also allowed to use part of her official royal title, too and go by “Meghan Sussex.”

Why does Meghan Markle still go by her maiden name?

The Duchess of Sussex might not technically use her maiden name, but she still goes by it as far as the public, press, and paparazzi are concerned. According to Vanity Fair, the reason for this might just be out of habit, but it could also have something to do with relatability.

Meghan Markle is the name we were first introduced to when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship was made public. Unlike Princess Diana, who had a royal name (Lady Diana) before marrying Prince Charles and came from an aristocratic background, Meghan Markle has a more “normal” last name, which really amps up her commoner roots.

Continuing to call Meghan Markle by her maiden name, connects her to the public and makes her — and her story — seem more relatable. “That ‘Middleton’ surname always acted — and still does act, in a way — like a reminder of the ‘fairy-tale’ element of their romance: Kate dating, and then marrying, an actual prince could happen to you,Vanity Fair writes about why we also call Kate Middleton by her maiden name.

What does Prince Harry call Meghan Markle?

In the royal family, it’s custom for members to call each other by their full name (hence why Prince William always refers to Kate as “Catherine”). During interviews and speeches, Prince Harry refers to his wife as “Meghan.” However, while out on royal engagements, he has also called the Duchess of Sussex, “Meg,” which goes against the royal family nickname rules.

Meghan Markle’s real name

Speaking of nicknames, the Duchess of Sussex technically always goes by her’s. Meghan Markle’s real name is Rachel Meghan Markle. It’s unknown why the duchess goes by her middle name, but it could have something to do with her acting career, as “Meghan Markle” flows nicely as a stage name.


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