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Meghan Markle | Source: Getty Images
Meghan Markle | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle Quietly Changed Her Name Multiple Times since Marrying Prince Harry – What Are Her Monikers?

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
Jul 04, 2024
06:25 A.M.

From her son's birth certificate to an artist's controversial portrait, Meghan Markle has been at the center of fervent discussions. What are the different names Meghan has embraced since stepping into the royal spotlight?

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Meghan Markle has undergone subtle yet significant changes since stepping into the royal spotlight. Beyond her royal title, she has quietly altered her name on multiple occasions, sparking curiosity about her evolving identity.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave Windsor Castle for an evening reception at Frogmore House in Windsor, England, on May 19, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave Windsor Castle for an evening reception at Frogmore House in Windsor, England, on May 19, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Earlier reports highlight four notable instances of Meghan's name changes: on her son's birth certificate, on a royal website, from a Nigerian royalty, and in a portrait.

Meghan Uses Royal Title in Son's Birth Certificate

In January 2021, it was reported that Meghan and Harry quietly altered their son Archie's birth certificate for the first time. They removed Meghan's first name, "Rachel Meghan," leaving only "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex." This change sparked speculation and controversy.

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Meghan Markle carries son, Archie, as they attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match  at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham, England on July 10, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle carries son, Archie, as they attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match at Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham, England on July 10, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Archie was born on May 6, 2019, and his birth was officially registered on May 17. Officials updated his birth certificate on June 5, amidst rumors of increasing tensions between Harry, his brother William, and their spouses.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose with their newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose with their newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019. | Source: Getty Images

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Some saw the change as possibly a snub to William and Kate, who used Kate's full names on their children's birth certificates. Others viewed it as Harry honoring Meghan, reminiscent of his late mother, Princess Diana, who often referred to herself as "Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales."

Princess Diana arrives at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on March 26, 1985. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Diana arrives at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on March 26, 1985. | Source: Getty Images

Harry and Meghan have not yet commented publicly on this matter. However, in February 2021, royal reporter Omid Scobie shared a statement from a spokesperson for the couple on X. The statement claimed that Meghan's name change was dictated by "The Palace," and that Meghan and Harry did not request it themselves.

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The alteration led to various reactions from royal experts. The late Queen Elizabeth II's former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, suggested the change might have been part of Harry and Meghan's broader plan to distance themselves from royal life. Meanwhile, Lady Colin Campbell described it as "extraordinary" and questioned the Sussexes' motivations.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022.  | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022. | Source: Getty Images

Expert Ingrid Seward also commented on the rarity of such a change, "For a royal to change a birth certificate is unprecedented but to remove forenames is remarkable."

Sussex Website Lists Harry's Wife as 'Meghan'

Reported on February 14, Harry and Meghan launched a new website, transitioning from the Sussex Royal URL handle to simply Sussex. Despite stepping back from official royal duties, they continue to use their titles, Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The website includes a section designed to offer the public more insight into their lives and work.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Notably, Meghan's page introduces her using only her first name, omitting her family name. This was the second time her name changed. This decision reflects a common practice among British Royals, who are frequently referred to by their first names and titles.

Meghan Markle at The Fashion Awards in London, England on December 10, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle at The Fashion Awards in London, England on December 10, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

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Meghan's narrative on the site includes her upbringing, painting a picture of her journey from a young South California girl to the influential figure she is today. The page also featured her advocacies for women, mental health, gender equality, and family care.

Meghan Markle at the Variety Power of Women event in Los Angeles, California on November 16, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle at the Variety Power of Women event in Los Angeles, California on November 16, 2023 | Source: Getty Images

Meghan's impact and recognition are also highlighted through her inclusion in various world rankings, marking her as a notable figure on the global stage.

Meghan Honored with Traditional Yoruba Name

On June 4, reports indicated that Meghan sent a heartfelt letter to Nigerian Paramount Ruler Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, thanking him for her new name and his warm hospitality during her and Harry's three-day visit to Nigeria in May 2024.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit the Lightway Academy in Abuja, Nigeria on May 10, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit the Lightway Academy in Abuja, Nigeria on May 10, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan conveyed in her letter how "deeply humbled" she was by the traditional Yoruba name bestowed upon her. "Thank you for your warm welcome to Nigeria. I'm deeply humbled by your blessing of the traditional Yoruba name, Adetokunbo," wrote Meghan.

Meghan Markle speaks during a visit to the Lightway Academy in Abuja, Nigeria, as part of the celebrations marking the anniversary of the Invictus Games on May 10, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle speaks during a visit to the Lightway Academy in Abuja, Nigeria, as part of the celebrations marking the anniversary of the Invictus Games on May 10, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

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She acknowledged the Yoruba name "Adetokunbo" given to her by His Majesty, adding, "I treasure the name and appreciate your trust in me to carry it with grace and dignity." In her letter, Meghan also emphasized the significance of the visit for her and her family.

Meghan Markle attracts a crowd at a sitting volleyball exhibition at Nigeria Unconquered in Abuja, Nigeria, during the Invictus Games anniversary celebrations on May 11, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle attracts a crowd at a sitting volleyball exhibition at Nigeria Unconquered in Abuja, Nigeria, during the Invictus Games anniversary celebrations on May 11, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

She also highlighted how it allowed her to explore and understand her heritage, which she noted was important for her children. "We look forward to coming back home one day soon," she concluded, signaling her eagerness for a future return.

Meghan Markle at the Lightway Academy in Abuja, Nigeria on May 10, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle at the Lightway Academy in Abuja, Nigeria on May 10, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

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According to a statement by the Press Secretary to the monarch, Meghan and Harry visited Nigeria in May this year. During their stay, the paramount rule was invited as the only Yoruba Oba to provide a royal reception.

Meghan Markle attends a Sit Out with Prince Harry at the Nigerian Defence Headquarters in Abuja on May 11, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle attends a Sit Out with Prince Harry at the Nigerian Defence Headquarters in Abuja on May 11, 2024. | Source: Getty Images

In addition to the name, Oba Akanbi also presented her with several gifts, including Royal beads. During the trip, Meghan opened up about her Nigerian heritage.

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She revealed that she had conducted a genealogy test which showed she had Nigerian ancestry. She shared that upon discovering this, she immediately called her mom to see if she had any idea about their family's Nigerian roots.

Meghan Portrayed as 'White Queen' in Artwork

On June 27, reports revealed that artist Dan Llywelyn Hall has immortalized Harry and Meghan in a new artwork. Dan's portraits, however, have stirred reactions among royal fans.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave Windsor Castle in a carriage after their wedding at St George's Chapel on May 19, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave Windsor Castle in a carriage after their wedding at St George's Chapel on May 19, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

In one of the portrayals, Meghan is represented as Dame Elizabeth Grey, who became Queen of England after marrying Edward IV in 1464. In the second portrayal, Harry is depicted as Charles Edward Stuart, also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during day 2 of their Nigeria tour in Abuja, Nigeria on May 11, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during day 2 of their Nigeria tour in Abuja, Nigeria on May 11, 2024 | Source: Getty Images

Explaining his thought process, Dan mentioned that he saw a fine irony in casting Meghan as the White Queen, given her role as possibly the most influential outsider in royal history, and he believed this was not entirely unrealistic.

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The painting of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has since sparked considerable interest among royal fans since it was shared online. Opinions on the portrayals have been mixed, with comments ranging from positive to negative, showcasing the diverse reactions to this intriguing artistic interpretation.

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One fan voiced disapproval, writing, "Whatever the artist's intention with this, at least it is a horrid depiction of her." On the other hand, someone else argued that Meghan did not deserve to be portrayed as Elizabeth. They wrote, "It's an insult to Elizabeth Woodville. Edward chose her for her personal qualities & this caused the scandal."

Meghan Markle's journey under the royal spotlight has been marked by subtle adjustments, from her son's birth certificate to controversial art portrayals. These shifts unveil her evolving identity, stirring both fascination and intense scrutiny from the public.

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