Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal baby has officially arrived. On Monday, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Instagram that Markle had given birth to a healthy baby boy, the first child for the couple who wed in the spring of 2018. While we don’t yet know the new baby’s first name, we do know the last name the royal child could use. However, unlike most surnames, this one’s a bit complicated.
The truth is, last names aren’t so much a thing for the royal clan. According to the official royal website, the family did not even have a last name until 1917. That year, King George V decreed that the family’s dynasty would be known as “the House of Windsor,” and that they would also use Windsor as a surname. However, in 1960, it was decided that direct descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, would receive the last name “Mountbatten-Windsor” instead to distinguish them from the rest of the royal family.
Flashforward to 2019. Prince Harry does not technically need to use a last name, as royals who use Prince or Princess titles (along with the title of “the Royal Highness”) are traditionally able to use just their first to distinguish them. All other direct descendants of Queen Elizabeth II carry the last name of Mountbatten-Windsor.
However, the new royal baby may use a different name. As Prince Charles is the Prince of Wales, Harry and his brother Prince William used “Wales” as a last name while in the military. Prince William is the Duke of Cambridge, and as such, his son George reportedly goes by “George Cambridge” in school.
Prince Harry and Meghan are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, respectively, so it’s possible that their new baby will use the last name “Sussex.” However, if this name is used, it’s not necessarily one that would go on an official birth certificate.
Complicated? You bet. And we haven't even gotten into the meaning behind this baby's first name.