Why do Prince William and Prince Harry’s children have different surnames? Here’s what you need to know

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If you’ve ever sat and wondered why Prince William and Prince Harry’s children don’t have the same surname then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

This topic came to fruition when Meghan Markle was pregnant with adorable Archie Harrison, and now we’re eager to explore why the little royals don’t share the same name.

William and Kate Middleton's children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – all have the last name Cambridge, while Harry and Meghan’s tot goes under Mountbatten-Windsor.

This is because William and Kate’s children have taken the last name of William, whose title is the Duke of Cambridge, whilst Archie Harrison has not been issued with a title and would therefore be known as Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor, as announced by Buckingham Palace.

This surname is a nod to Archie’s great-grandparents, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed Prince Louis in April 2018 and his birth certificate reveals his surname as “His Royal Highness Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge."

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And royal expert Marlene Koenig told Town & Country: "George and Charlotte use Cambridge as a surname at school at this time."

As Prince Harry and Meghan are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex it means their children could use Sussex as their surname. However, the second name chosen for their son is Mountbatten-Windsor, which Archie has adopted.



This surname has a rich royal history, as explained by Marlene Koenig: “In 1952, after Queen Elizabeth II succeeded, she issued a Letters Patent (LP) that stated the House family and the family name will be Windsor.

"In 1960, she issued a new LP that stated the House name would remain Windsor, but the family name would be Mountbatten Windsor."

This family name therefore stems from Prince Phillip’s surname, Mountbatten, and Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather, King George V, took on, Windsor, after Windsor Castle in 1917.

In keeping to tradition, members of the royal family don’t use a surname and they are instead known by their first names or titles in the public eye, and His or Her Royal Highness.

And, according to the royal family’s official website, male-line descendants of the monarch who don’t have royal styles and titles will bear the name Mountbatten-Windsor, as Archie Harrison does.

The website adds: “Unless The Prince of Wales chooses to alter the present decisions when he becomes king, he will continue to be of the House of Windsor and his grandchildren will use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor."

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When William and Harry were growing up, they went under the surname ‘Wales,’ which they used at school, university and the army.

The reason behind this was because their father Prince Charles’ title is the Prince of Wales, but both William and Harry were granted new titles following their marriages.

The royals have made headlines lately, following a very candid interview between Meghan, Harry and Oprah Winfrey.

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During the bombshell chat, Meghan told Oprah that they wanted Archie to have a title for security reasons.

She said: “All the grandeur around this stuff is not really important to me.

“But in those months when I was pregnant, all around same time: we have in tandem he won’t be given security, a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

It has since been claimed that Meghan and Harry did in fact have the option to give Archie a title.

A spokesperson for Debrett’s ettiquette school said: “In 1917, King George V ordered that only the grandchildren of the monarch would be entitled to use the style of prince or princess and HRH, the only exception to this order was that the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales would also be entitled to be use the style HRH and Prince.

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“In accordance with the 1917 order, Archie could now use his father’s title of the Earl of Dumbarton and could be referred to as Lord Dumbarton.

“In 2012, the Queen issued new Letters Patent that the style of HRH and Prince/Princess would be extended to all of Prince William’s children, not just his eldest son.

“Archie’s entitlement to use the style of Prince and HRH will come into force when his grandfather Prince Charles becomes king.”

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