When you were born, you were given a first name and a surname. But when a member of the royal family is born, they are often given a title instead of a traditional name. So, what will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's children's last name be? Will they even have a surname?
As you may have guessed, the royal family tend not to use a last name. This is mainly because they are instantly recognisable by their first name in the country they rule over. Not to state the obvious, but there isn't two Queen Elizabeths currently living, two Prince Williams, or two Prince Harrys. However, when a royal goes to school or joins the military, they are required to have some kind of last name. In recent years, most royals have taken their parents' title as their last name. As Cosmopolitan reports, William and Harry were known as William and Harry Wales at school, thanks to their father's title as the Prince of Wales.
It's a similar story for George, Charlotte, and Louis. When the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge started school last September, he went by the name George Cambridge. (It was even written on his adorable backpack.) It's expected that Charlotte and Louis will follow suit when they're old enough to attend school.
Theoretically, this would mean that Harry and Markle's baby (and any future children) will have the surname Sussex. After all, the couple were given the title of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by the Queen on the morning of their wedding day.
However, the royal couple's children can also go by another name: Mountbatten-Windsor. Fans of The Crown will remember the scene where the Queen made this decision in order to incorporate her husband's last name.
As the royal family's official website states, the royals had no official surname before 1917. Monarchs, princes, and princesses were known by the names of the countries that they reigned over while others used the name of the house or dynasty that they belonged to.
In 1917, King George V decided to use Windsor as both the name of the house and the surname of his family. (The name was taken from the castle regularly frequented by the royal family.) It is believed that the surname was changed as a result of the country's anti-German sentiment after the First World War. Prior to that, the royal family belonged to the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dynasty; a particularly German-sounding name to the average person.
Eventually, the Queen chose to incorporate Prince Philip's last name, Mountbatten, into her family name. From 1960, every descendant of the Queen (other than those with the title of prince or princess) had the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor.
If Harry and Markle's children were gifted the title of prince or princess by the Queen (as was the case with William and Kate's), Mountbatten-Windsor would be out of the question. But if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's kids are not given that elevated royal title, their classmates may well know them by the formal royal surname.
Of course, it's possible that Harry and Markle could choose a completely different surname. Will tradition be thrown out in the case of their offspring? We will all just have to wait and see.