With the anticipation of the baby’s birth reaching fever pitch so has followed speculation over what the child’s surname may be. While for many families it is quite a simple matter, for the Royal Family there are many names that can be included on every one of their titles. Upon marrying Harry, Meghan assumed his dukedom of Sussex and therefore the two have henceforth be known as such.
Likewise, upon assuming the title of Duke of Cambridge, William like his brother dropped the Wales from their name – a title they had taken from their father, the Prince of Wales.
As it stands, the couple’s child will likely take on the name of Sussex in his or her’s last name on official paperwork.
Moreover, the Queen is yet to give her permission for the couple’s first child to be a His or Her Royal Highness.
Her Majesty used the “Letter Patent” to give William and Kate the ability to do so with all their children who are all now known as His or Her Royal Highness.
Therefore, it is possible that the Queen will do the same for Harry and Meghan’s child.
As stated under the patent in 2012: “All the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour”.
If the Queen does not grant this for Meghan and Harry’s child, the baby will be known as Earl of Dumbarton if it is a boy and styled Lady Mountbatten-Windsor if it’s a girl.
Until 1917 the Royal Family did not have a surname but rather belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
However, Prince George V adopted the family name of Windsor, which in 1952 was confirmed by her Majesty during her accession to the throne.
A letters Patent passed by King George in 1917 read: “The grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.”
In 1960, the Queen and her husband Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh decided that their descendants except for those with the style of Royal Highness and the title Prince or Princess would use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.
The decision to adopt the surname Mountbatten-Windsor was in reference to the Duke of Edinburgh’s family name, Mountbatten.