Journalism of Courage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new Royal title and why the new bride will not be a princess

On Saturday morning, she woke up as Meghan Markle, American citizen. By midday Saturday, she was preparing to become Her Royal Highness Meghan, Duchess of Sussex  — still an American but on her way to becoming a new royal citizen of the United Kingdom.

On the morning of Prince Harry and Markle’s wedding, his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, as expected granted him a new title: HRH Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. That makes his bride a royal duchess, known formally as HRH Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

(The queen also bestowed secondary titles, for when they’re in Scotland, for instance, of Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.)

Harry, 33, will not be the first Duke of Sussex, although it’s been two centuries since the last one. But Meghan, 36, will be the first woman ever to carry the title HRH Duchess of Sussex.

She will not be officially known as Princess Meghan, although many people, will call her that. After all, many call the former Kate Middleton “Princess Kate,” even though her formal title is HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

The bottom line is the monarch decides royal titles, based on tradition, personal preference and whether or not a particular title is currently vacant, as it were. It’s a tradition that the monarch grants a new title to male members of the royal family on their wedding day. This “gift” is within the monarch’s power to grant; the government of the day has nothing to do with it.

The palace said she will not be known officially as Princess.


Oprah Winfrey

Idris Elba, who credits the Prince’s Trust for starting his career, arrived with fiancée Sabrina Dhowre.

Singer James Blunt, who served in the British Army with Prince Harry.

Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer with his wife Karen, Countess Spencer.

Michael and Carole Middleton, parents of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, along with their other son James and daughter Pippa and her husband James Matthews.

Actor George Clooney and his wife, humanitarian lawyer Amal Clooney.

Victoria Beckham and her husband David Beckham.


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