Will Meghan Markle's Real Name Be on the Birth Certificate of Her Baby? An Expert Weighs In

The countdown has officially begun.

The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit Australia - Day 3
(Image credit: Chris Jackson)
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child.
  • When the royal baby is born, his or her parents will not go by their known names on the birth certificate.
  • Harry will go by "His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex," and Meghan will appear as "Rachel Meghan, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex."

On Monday, Kensington Palace confirmed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child (opens in new tab). When the royal baby comes this spring (opens in new tab) and his or her official birth certificate is released, the name "Harry" will not appear on the document and Meghan will go by real name "Rachel."

Harry's full title, "His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex," will be used, as Henry is his given name. Meghan, whose first name is Rachel (just like her Suits (opens in new tab) character!) and middle name is Meghan, will go by "Rachel Meghan, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Dubbo, Australia during a royal tour leading up to the 2018 Invictus Games.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Dubbo, Australia.

(Image credit: Pool/Samir Hussein)

According to Marlene Koenig (opens in new tab), a British and European royalty expert, Meghan's name will appear in order as "Rachel Meghan," because that's her full, given name.

"Her name is not a part of her title," Koenig tells MarieClaire.com. "So, it will say Rachel Meghan, HRH the Duchess of Sussex."

See more

In April when Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed their third child Prince Louis (opens in new tab), his birth certificate had his surname as "His Royal Highness Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge." His parents were listed as "His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis Duke of Cambridge" and "Catherine Elizabeth Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge."

Prince Louis' birth certificate

Prince Louis’ birth certificate.

(Image credit: Getty)

They are listed similarly on Princess Charlotte's certificate.

Princess Charlotte's birth certificate.

Princess Charlotte’s birth certificate.

(Image credit: Getty)

As well as on Prince George's certificate.

Meghan's name will be styled as Kate's name has been, except that her first name "Rachel" will come before her known "Meghan" to read "Rachel Meghan," whereas Kate, who goes by her first name, is "Catherine Elizabeth."

It's unclear why the American actress goes by her middle name, but her parents (opens in new tab) have always called her Meghan or "Meg." Harry, of course calls her "Meghan," telling BBC (opens in new tab) after they got engaged that he "fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was confirmation to me that all the stars were aligned, everything was just perfect. This beautiful woman just tripped and fell into my life, I fell into her life.”

During her wedding to Prince Harry, the Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, who solemnized the marriage, referred to Meghan as "Rachel Meghan" at the ceremony: "In the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we have come together to witness the marriage of Henry Charles Albert David and Rachel Meghan, to pray for God’s blessing on them, to share their joy and to celebrate their love..."

During their vows, the couple addressed each other by their known names.

"I, Harry, take you, Meghan, to be my wife..."

"I, Meghan, take you, Harry, to be my husband..."

Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in May.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day.

(Image credit: WPA Pool)

Since Prince Harry and Meghan are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, their baby will likely use Sussex as his or her last name at school and in paperwork, according to Town & Country (opens in new tab). The child will not use Meghan's last name, Markle, because she isn't technically a Markle anymore.

The child, according to the publication, may not use a last name at all. Koenig tells T&C, "In real life, royals do not use a surname. They sign their first name only. Their titles will be on their passports."

Prince Harry and Meghan have already received their first baby presents (opens in new tab), a fluffy stuffed kangaroo and fleece UGG booties, from Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and his wife, Lady Lynne Cosgrove. Markle reportedly (opens in new tab) said the sweet gesture was, "so cute," calling it, "our first baby gift!" The couple is in Australia for their royal tour (opens in new tab). They'll also visit Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand, carrying out a total of 76 engagements (opens in new tab).

marie claire logo

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Rose is a Staff Writer at ELLE covering culture, news, and women's issues. She is an accomplished and compassionate storyteller who excels in obtaining exclusive interviews and unearthing compelling features.