Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Broke Royal Tradition With Their Kids’ New Last Name

The Sussexes are Sussexing.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle United Nations 2022

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Earlier this week, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry relaunched their website, doing away with Archewell.com (we hardly knew you) and presenting Sussex.com. And while eagle-eyed royal fans were focused on things like the coat of arms, Bustle reports that a major detail seemed to fly under the radar — until now. Sussex.com displays Harry and Meghan's children’s names as Archie and Lilibet Sussex when they'd previously gone by Mountbatten-Windsor. The change to Sussex breaks a naming tradition that dates back to 1964.

According to changes made back in the '60s, “The King’s descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.”

The Times reports that Harry and Meghan actually switched to the Sussex last name after King Charles III’s Coronation in May 2023 but hadn't updated Archewell.com with the information.

“The reality behind the new site is very simple — it’s a hub for the work the Sussexes do, and it reflects the fact the family have, since the King’s coronation, the same surname for the first time,” a source told The Times. “That’s a big deal for any family. It represents their unification, and it’s a proud moment.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Archie

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Archie and Lilibet weren’t bestowed the titles of prince, princess, or HRH at birth, but following Queen Elizabeth II's death in 2022, they became eligible for titles. After Lilibet's christening in March 2023, it was confirmed that Archie and his sister had been given prince and princess titles.

According to the now-defunct SussexRoyal.com, Harry and Meghan's other old website, the Sussexes would not “actively use their HRH titles as they will no longer be working members of the family," although they would maintain their duke and duchess titles.

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