Meghan is a Princess – Here’s why

By Fuzheado - Own work, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

When Rachel Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in 2018, she became known as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex as Prince Harry was created Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel1 on the day of the wedding.

Her rank is that of a Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Because she is not born royal, she is not entitled to be “Princess Meghan”. The late Diana, Princess of Wales, was commonly called “Princess Diana,” but she was not entitled to this either. The same goes for The Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Edinburgh. The 1917 Letters Patent limits the title of Prince or Princess to the children of the sovereign, the grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. In 2012, this was expanded to include all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, ensuring that both Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were born Prince and Princess.

Does this make Meghan any less of a Princess? No.

This was confirmed by Buckingham Palace when Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the Duke of York (future King George VI). They released this statement: “In accordance with the settled general rule that a wife takes the status of her husband Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage has become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York with the status of a Princess.”2

When Marie Christine von Reibnitz married Prince Michael of Kent in 1978, she became Princess Michael of Kent – sharing her husband’s status and taking on the feminine form. If Prince Harry had not been created Duke of Sussex on his wedding day, Meghan would have become Princess Henry (then of Wales).

  1. Announcement of titles
  2. The New York Times

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