Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement will be the talk of the British monarchy for quite some time. Now that the couple has officially announced their impending nuptials, many are beginning to speculate about Ms. Markle’s life as a royal.
The California-born actress’ title, rank, and role in the British Monarchy seems to be quite complicated. Meghan Markle will have to tread carefully in this family, especially since her husband-to-be is sixth in line to the throne.
Clues to Ms. Markle’s title in the British royal family may be found in the title of her counterpart, Kate Middleton. As per the Daily Mail, Prince William’s wife has adopted the name Catherine Elizabeth, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, as seen on Prince George’s birth certificate.
The British royal family doesn’t use a last name since their titles usually suffice, which is why Kate Middleton did not list a last name on Prince George’s birth certificate. The same may be true for Ms. Markle when she marries Prince Harry.
Queen Elizabeth II is expected to bestow a new noble title to Prince Harry after he marries, like she did with Prince William, reported Elle. The Dukedom of Sussex will most likely be the red-headed prince’s wedding present from his regal grandmother.
So, Prince Harry will most likely be known as the Duke of Sussex. As a result, the former Suits actress will be known as Rachel Meghan, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.
Both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle’s—soon-to-be-official royal names reveal one tidbit of valuable information — they both have the moniker HRH which seems to make quite a distinction in the royal family.
As Good Housekeeping recalls, Lady Di was upset when she was stripped of the HRH title as it seems to affect one’s rank in the royal family. In the Princess of Wales’ case, losing the HRH style meant she had to curtsy to her sons since it meant she formally lost her connection to the British royal family.
In Ms. Markle’s case, the HRH seems to affect her rank when she is bowing to princesses born into the royal family, like Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, based on a report by People. If she is alone, Meghan Markle will have to curtsy to princesses born of royal blood, but if she is with Prince Harry, the princesses have to curtsy to her. It seems her rank is contingent on her husband, which is why she has to follow such a complicated curtsy protocol.
The ex-actress’ role in the British Monarchy can also be gleaned through Prince George’s birth certificate. On her son’s birth certificate, Kate Middleton’s occupation is listed as the Princess of the United Kingdom. Meghan Markle will most likely be given the same role in the family. Her exit after Suits Season 7 and the shutdown of her blog, The Tig, are evidence that Ms. Markle has chosen to be a princess in occupation, even if she doesn’t have the title.
As such, Meghan Markle is a princess by virtue, but not by name.