17:44 GMT08 April 2020
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    Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are about to officially step down from royal duties at the end of the month, following their dramatic exit from the royal family fold to seek a new independent life.

    Meghan Markle might take on a new surname once the Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially step down as senior members of the royal family on 31 March, according to the Daily Express.
    After marrying Prince Harry on 19 May 2018 in a lavish ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, the former actress took on the "Sussex" surname.
    However, speculation regarding her future monicker has been spreading as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been forbidden from using their royal HRH titles once they step down.
    Since the dramatic announcement that the couple were retiring from official royal duties, the Duchess of Sussex has continued to be known by her maiden name. Quite possibly a royal name change is being contemplated now, claims the outlet.

    Name Options

    Meghan Markle has the option to adopt the same surname that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip passed on to their descendants since 1952. While most members of the Royal Family traditionally use their titles as surnames, the male-line heirs of the monarch were granted the right to use Mountbatten-Windsor.

    Actress Meghan Markle
    © AP Photo / Evan Agostini
    Actress Meghan Markle

    Incidentally, it was this name that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose for their son: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Some royal experts believe this choice may made in a tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.

    When Prince Philip married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and became a naturalised British citizen, he renounced his previous Greek and Danish titles to adopt the surname Mountbatten.
    If the Duchess were to opt for this surname she would be known as Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor.

    Meghan Markle’s husband the Duke of Sussex used to be known as Harry Wales, after he and his brother Prince William decided to take on their father Prince Charles’ house name.
    Prince Charles is the eldest son of Elizabeth II and the heir apparent to the British throne.

    Information on the surname issue can be found on the official royal website, which states:

    “Members of the Royal Family can be known both by the name of the Royal house, and by a surname, which are not always the same. And often they do not use a surname at all.”
    Those members of the royal family who do not have a title typically use surnames.

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie are currently said to be self-isolating in their Vancouver Island mansion amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their shock announcement in January, revealing they intended to move abroad and "transition into a new working model". The couple voiced hopes of becoming financially independent of the UK taxpayer, explaining their decision, in part, by their frustration over the undue attention they were receiving in the media. Under an arrangement agreed with Queen Elizabeth II that is up for review in 12 months, Harry and Meghan will no longer carry out official duties on her behalf, and will retain but not use their HRH titles.

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are currently said to be at their Vancouver Island mansion as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the world, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declaring the UK to be on "lockdown" as part of the battle against the respiratory disease and Prince Charles testing positive for the new coronavirus infection.



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