As news spread on Saturday that Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, stated they "will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family," many people started to wonder: what will we call Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle now? Will Harry and Meghan get a new last name?
What do we call Harry and Meghan now?
While Harry will continue to be a prince and a member of the royal family, moving forward he will not use the title “His Royal Highness” because he is no longer a working member of the family. Same goes for Meghan.
In a tweet, ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship wrote, "Clarification on the HRH style: both Harry and Meghan will RETAIN them but they will no longer USE them." The couple will reportedly be known as Harry, the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
The couple was named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by Queen Elizabeth II on their wedding day in 2018.
This isn't the first time someone has dropped their HRH title.
Harry's mother Diana, Princess of Wales lost the title "Her Royal Highness" in 1996. Since she was given the title due to marriage, she was stripped of it upon her divorce from Prince Charles.
So if they aren't using their "royal highness" titles, will Harry and Meghan take a last name?
The pair have the opportunity to use Sussex as a last name, similar to how Prince William and Kate Middleton gave their assigned dukedom, Cambridge, to their children George and Charlotte for use at school. Their Instagram handle and new official website both use the Sussex name.
Earlier this week, a palace official referred to the couple as "the Sussexes."
But according to the official website for the royal family, if at any time any of the family need a last name (such as upon marriage), that last name is Mountbatten-Windsor. The family name comes from Prince Phillip's surname (Mountbatten) and the name Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather, King George V, took on after Windsor Castle in 1917.
If Harry and Meghan adopted Mountbatten-Windsor as their new last name, this actually wouldn't be the first time someone in their immediate family goes by that surname.
The birth certificate of baby Archie, who was born on May 6, 2019, lists his surname as Mountbatten-Windsor. This gives us an inkling that his parents may opt for this name as well, staying in royal tradition and matching the name of their son.
But despite that being laid as protocol on the royal family's official website, when Prince Harry was training in the army, he went by the last name Wales (a nod to his father, the Prince of Wales).
With all this change, we wouldn't be surprised if the pair who are opting for a very nontraditional path chose a last name that was equally nontraditional as well.
Meghan and Harry Markle? That has a ring to it.