The Reasons Behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Decision to Alter Their Children’s Surnames

Upon the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first child, Archie, in May 2019, they shared his full name as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Fast forward to 2024, the couple has chosen to adopt the surname Sussex for both Archie and their daughter, Lilibet.

This update coincided with the debut of their newly overhauled website,, which immediately sparked controversy among some segments of the British media. Two major points of contention were the inclusion of a coat of arms and the use of the Sussex name in the website’s domain, despite the couple’s step back from active royal duties in 2020. Following their departure, Queen Elizabeth II requested they cease using the Sussex Royal brand, previously featured in their Instagram handle and original website name. Subsequently, Harry and Meghan transitioned to using Archewell for their charitable foundation and production company’s web presence.

What prompted the change in website name? Initially, the Archewell site was a tribute to their son, Archie. However, with the addition of a second child, it’s believed that the couple sought a website name that would encompass the whole family and their various endeavors.

The transition of their surname from Mountbatten-Windsor to Sussex is linked to the ascension of King Charles to the throne. With their grandfather becoming king, Archie and Lilibet ascended in the line of succession, earning them the titles of Prince and Princess of Sussex, a change from their former designations as Master Archie and Miss Lilibet.

It’s customary for British princes and princesses to use their titles, or those of their parents, as surnames; for instance, Prince Harry and Prince William were known as William Wales and Harry Wales in school, mirroring their parents’ titles as the Prince and Princess of Wales. In choosing Sussex as their children’s surname, Harry and Meghan are adhering to this tradition. Additionally, for Harry and Meghan, who are known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aligning their children’s last names with their own undoubtedly simplifies matters.

Indeed, one must acknowledge that Archie Sussex and Lilibet Sussex possess a certain appealing resonance.


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