With the wedding of the year just more than a week away, soon, all eyes will be fixed on St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19 to see the exchanging of vows between ... Henry and Rachel? Wait, what? While Prince Harry's given moniker may not come as much of a surprise, even seasoned royal experts may not know that Meghan Markle's real name is Rachel and her middle name is Meghan.
If Prince Harry uses his bride-to-be's legal name during the ceremony, confused pop culture aficionados not in the know may be reminded of another past London wedding watched on TV by tens of millions of people. Who could forget when Ross Geller mistakenly told his fiancée Emily, "I, Ross, take thee Rachel" in Friends' May 1998 season 4 finale on NBC? But not to worry, in this case, the prince won't be referring to his ex — and actual true love — if he says the name Rachel.
While there has been no official confirmation on which name will be said during the highly anticipated nuptials, there have been plenty of clues to feed speculation. Just seven years ago, Markle's future sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, used her given name during her 2011 wedding to Prince William saying, "I, Catherine Elizabeth, take thee, William Arthur Philip Louis, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward."
Hawk-eyed royals followers actually may have previously noticed the use of Markle's full legal name when her soon-to-be grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, formally gave her consent to the marriage between her "most dearly beloved grandson, Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales," and his fiancée, "Rachel Meghan Markle" in a March letter to her Privy Council.
So she's totally going to be referred to as "Rachel Meghan" next weekend, right? Well, not so fast. In a move that threw a monkey wrench into that feeling of certainty, the American actress was referred to by just Meghan on the official royal wedding invites that Kensington Palace revealed on its Twitter account in March.
Okay, that clears up nothing. So let's just revisit our shock that despite the fact she was the most Googled actor of 2017, we had no idea Meghan wasn't the future royal's real name. What we did know, however, is that Rachel is the name of her character on USA's Suits.
"I think each of our personalities have really become peppered into our characters," she told Esquire of the role in 2013. "I'm a foodie in real life, so the creator made Rachel a foodie. There are certain elements about my sense of humor that have started to become much more of Rachel's character." That would've been a perfect time to mention it was also her real name, but I digress.
In the same interview, the 2003 graduate of Northwestern University gave a major hint that her use, or lack thereof, of the name Rachel pre-dated her acting career and isn't just a stage name. Recalling going to work with her father Thomas Markle, a lighting director and director of photography, during her childhood, she made reference to a pet name he used.
"Every day after school for 10 years, I was on the set of Married ... with Children, which is a really funny and perverse place for a little girl in a Catholic school uniform to grow up," she told the magazine. "There were a lot of times my dad would say, 'Meg, why don't you go and help with the craft services room over there? This is just a little off-color for your 11-year-old eyes.'"
Another fun fact: Aside from "Meg," Markle is better known by her family as "Bud" and "Flower," biographer Andrew Morton wrote in his April release, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess.
While we're sure those nicknames won't be spoken when she marries the sixth in line for the British throne, it looks like we'll have to wait until the couple say their vows on May 19 to find out if she'll be referred to as "Rachel Meghan" or simply "Meghan."