When a woman gets married, she typically takes the last name of the groom. This is not always the case, and many times the new wife will choose to hyphenate the names. What will happen when Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry though?
What exactly is Prince Harry's surname? This is where things can get a little complicated. You see, the Royal family did not even have a surname until 1917 when King George V changed their House name due to its German origins. That is when the very Germanic House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was replaced with House of Windsor. He also made it clear that Windsor would serve as the family's surname as well.
The surname remained the same until after Queen Elizabeth II took the crown. She and Prince Phillip wanted to set apart their family and made a slight adjustment to the name, by adding Phillip's surname. Since that time, the family is technically Mountbatten-Windsor.
To make things even more confusing, not everyone uses the surname, and some Royals choose to use their territorial designations as their name, such as 'York' or 'Wales.' Prince Charles is known as the Prince of Wales, so when William and Harry needed a last name to enroll in school or the British Army, they used the name 'Wales' as well. When Kate Middleton married Prince William of Wales, she took his name but in the female form-Princess William of Wales. The Queen then bestowed the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to them as well which is what they are generally referred to as.
There is another exception to consider as well. As long as the person has the title Her Royal Highness or His Royal Highness, they do not have to use a surname at all and can just go by their Royal Title. On Prince George's birth certificate the place for a surname for Mother, Father, and baby has a slash through it.
So, what will Meghan be called once she and Prince Harry tie the knot? Rumor has it that Queen Elizabeth may bestow the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the newest Royal newlyweds, but there are a few other options as well. Among them are Windsor, Clarence, and Albany. We won't officially know of course until after the big day, but it can be fun to speculate and learn a little history along the way.