Royal Author Claims Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Planning to Give Up Sussex Titles and Use Princess Diana’s Maiden Name, Spencer, As Their Surname

“They’ve discussed it not only by themselves but with others, too.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hold hands and walk out of an engagement
(Image credit: Getty)

Wait, what? Have to admit—this is one we didn’t see coming: It’s not a secret that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are interested in a rebrand, especially on the heels of their Spotify deal collapsing. But The Daily Express is reporting that the rebrand could include a new last name, dropping Mountbatten-Windsor in favor of Spencer, Princess Diana’s maiden name.

Yeah, like we said, didn’t see that one coming.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speak in South Africa

(Image credit: Getty)

“What’s really interesting in the rebranding of the Sussexes is that Meghan decided her real object in life was to be Diana,” royal author Tom Bower told GB News. “That has always been her passion. That has also been Harry’s passion, and Meghan went to the extent of suggesting that they should drop the name Windsor and take the surname Spencer. So she’d be Meghan Spencer—the new Diana.”

Princess Diana in a red dress

(Image credit: Getty)

Bower told host Dan Wootton that he believes the subject has already been discussed with others, and that Harry is on board to take his mother’s name, too.

“They’ve discussed it not only by themselves but with others, too,” Bower said. “This isn’t something they’ve plucked out of their minds. They were actively trying to recast themselves as Harry and Meghan. He’d take his mother’s name, too. It’s all about the break off.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games

(Image credit: Getty)

This “bid to align with Diana” would also include dropping the Sussex title, Bower said. Harry and Meghan were given the titles Duke and Duchess of Sussex by Her late Majesty upon their wedding in 2018. Though their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, originally used the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, on the official line of succession they too have now adopted the Sussex title, going by Prince Archie of Sussex and Princess Lilibet of Sussex.

“They’d also give up the Sussex title because instead you’ve got the new incarnation of Diana,” Bower said.

Well—consider us shocked.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.