Why Markle won't be called Princess Meghan
Published Tuesday, November 28, 2017 9:28AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 28, 2017 1:45PM EST
Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry next year, but the royal nuptials won’t bestow on her the coveted title of “princess” under the rules of the monarchy.
CTV News royal contributor Richard Berthelsen says that distinction has everything to do with the fact that Markle is marrying into the Royal Family, not being born into it.
“She’s not ‘Princess Meghan’ because she was not born a princess,” Berthelsen told CTVNews.ca. He explained the distinction is largely a matter of title, not of definition.
“She is a princess, but she is a princess because she married a prince, so it’s not correct to call her ‘Princess Meghan,’” he said.
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Instead, Markle will likely follow in the tradition of her soon-to-be sister-in-law, the former Kate Middleton, now known as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Berthelsen says Prince Harry will in all likelihood be granted a dukedom just prior to the wedding, which would make Markle a duchess once they are married.
“The Queen will bestow a title on Prince Harry, which is custom when members of the royal family get married,” he said. Berthelsen predicts that title will be Duke of Sussex, although it might also be Duke of Connaught – another currently vacant dukedom in the U.K.
“They would therefore be Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
There has only ever been one Duke of Sussex, and his marriages were never officially recognized, so Markle could become the first-ever Duchess of Sussex.
In the unlikely event that Harry is not granted a title, Markle would be saddled with the title of Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales. (Harry’s formal title is Prince Henry of Wales, although he’s popularly known as Harry).
Unlike her sister-in-law, it’s highly unlikely that Markle will ever become Princess of Wales. That title is reserved for the wife of the heir to throne, and will pass to Kate when the Queen dies and Prince Charles becomes king.
Charles’ first wife, Diana, was Princess of Wales during their marriage. Charles’ current wife, Camilla, could technically lay claim to it now, but she has opted instead to be known as the Duchess of Cornwall.
In addition to a potential dukedom, Harry could potentially receive additional titles like his brother. William was named Duke of Cambridge at the time of his wedding, but was also granted the titles of Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.
Rumours have swirled for years that Harry may have already been promised the Sussex dukedom, although there has been no official comment on it.
The Duke of Sussex title was previously held by Prince Augustus Frederick, who held the title from 1801 until his death in 1843. Augustus was married twice but the weddings were not approved by the King, so his illegitimate heirs could not inherit the title after his death.