Prince Harry's Last Name Is So Complicated Now That He's Stepped Down From Royal Duties

Mehera Bonner
·2-min read
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

You know Prince Harry? Grandson to Queen Elizabeth, husband to Meghan Markle and father of Archie, person who quit the royal family? Well, a couple fun facts about his name: first of all, it's not Harry. It's Henry!

And while we're at it, his full name is Henry Charles Albert David, which begs the question, does Harry just not have a last name? Well, it's complicated due to a bunch of various rules and proclamations, so let's get into it.

No, Harry Doesn't Technically Have a Last Name

Due to being royal, Harry doesn't have a last name like us mere mortals. In fact, the official name listed on his son Archie's birth certificate is His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex.

Photo credit: Jonathan Brady - PA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jonathan Brady - PA Images - Getty Images

However! Back when he served in the military, Harry used the last name "Wales" and was known as Captain Harry Wales, according to a circa 2011 Telegraph article.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

So, Where'd Archie Mountbatten-Windsor Come From?

While Harry doesn't technically have a last name, his son Archie uses Mountbatten-Windsor. Why, you ask? It's a little complicated. This name came into royal use back in 1960, when the Queen and Prince Philip decided they wanted their non titled descendants to have their own *special* last name.

The royal family's website states that "The Queen'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." Which is why Archie (who doesn't have a title!) uses the last name and Harry (who is a Prince!) does not.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

In case you're curious, "Mountbatten" is the last name of Prince Philip's maternal grandparents, while "Windsor" is the surname George V gave his descendants before Elizabeth switched things up.

So, What Happens Now That Harry's Not a HRH?

At this point you might be wondering what's going to happen now that Harry is no longer using His Royal Highness amid stepping down from the royal family. While he could start using the last name Mountbatten-Windsor, he apparently hadn't signed any paperwork with that name as of last April. So for now, he's simply Harry, Duke of Sussex (or Prince Harry, if you're feeling fancy!).

Either way, Harry can use Mountbatten-Windsor whenever he wants: part of the Queen's 1960 declaration states that when members of the royal family need a last name (think: official paper work) they can use Mountbatten-Windsor. On top of that, it should be noted that Prince William and Kate Middleton's kids use the last name "Cambridge" at school, which suggests Harry could potentially use "Sussex" as a last name if he wanted to. TBD, friends!

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