Prince Harry is not dropping his surname, despite a number of outlets claiming he is lately. Prince Harry doesn’t really have a surname to drop. Gossip Cop can explain.
In a recent issue of Woman’s Day, the tabloid found it odd that when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle registered their new charity, “there was no sign of the name Mountbatten-Windsor, which descendants of the queen and Prince Philip take.” A supposed “insider” told the dubious outlet, “It was a bizarre move, but in Harry’s mind, I guess what’s done is done.”
This same narrative appeared throughout various tabloids around the world, meant to create more drama with the Duke of Sussex as he continues to build his own life outside of the royal family. But it’s simply not accurate to say he “dropped” the name. While the official surname of the royal family is more or less “Windsor,” as they are the House of Windsor, the senior members of the family, like Prince William, don’t actually have last names in the traditional sense. But it can be a bit more complicated.
Prince William and Meghan Markle’s son’s full name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. If you’re wondering, the “Mountbatten” part of the name comes from Prince Philip’s family. Archie’s uncle, Prince Edward’s daughter, is named Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor. But other than those two of Queen Elizabeth’s children or grandchildren, none have the surname Mountbatten-Windsor. Most of her children and grandchildren are named with their respective title.
Prince Harry’s full name is Prince Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex. He has no “official last name.” In fact, he’s never used the name Mountbatten-Windsor in his life. His brother, Prince William, similarly, has no official surname, his full name is Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge. Their father, Prince Charles, and their aunts and uncles and most of the cousins are also named simply with their titles.
When Prince Harry joined the military in 2005, his name was “Officer Cadet Wales,” and later Lieutenant Wales. That surname, of course, comes from his father’s title, the Prince of Wales. Like Prince Harry, Prince William also went by Lieutenant Wales during his military service. Neither has ever used Mountbatten-Windsor.
For further evidence that Prince Harry doesn’t use that name, consider his son’s birth certificate. On the document, the father is listed as His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex. As many have pointed out before, he did not use his “Prince” title. It's also worth noting that there is in fact no surname. Archie’s mother is listed as Rachel Meghan Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Sussex. Again, no surname.
When the duke and duchess registered their charity, Archewell, Prince Harry used the name Prince Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex. Which is, as we’ve now explained, his full name. Because he didn’t use “Mountbatten-Windsor”, the tabloids jumped at the opportunity to invent a phony narrative that he somehow was abandoning his heritage and his family and this name situation proved it. It didn’t actually prove anything because Prince Harry used his actual legal name, which doesn’t include the surname.
One last note: For most of Prince Harry’s life, as a direct descendent of Queen Elizabeth, he was known as “His Royal Highness,” but when he and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of The Firm, they agreed to no longer use the “HRH” title that they were entitled to. Dropping that part of the title is the only thing Prince Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex has changed about his name.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.