Fans of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry think they know everything about the couple, but they may be surprised to learn that Meghan’s name isn’t actually Meghan. More surprisingly, it’s not a stage name either. Meghan is actually the actress’ middle name, and we’re screaming over her first. So what is Meghan’s real name? It’s actually Rachel — and, oddly enough, this was her character’s name on Suits, too!
While the world may know the philanthropist as Meghan, she actually used the name “Rachel” during the royal wedding ceremony. Why? Because Rachel is the moniker Queen Elizabeth used in the official letter giving consent to the marriage. She also used Prince Harry’s real name — which, if you haven’t guessed yet, isn’t Harry. And, no, it’s not Harrison, his son’s middle name, either.
“I declare my consent to a contract of matrimony between my most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle,” the queen wrote at the time. “Which consent I am causing to be signified under the great seal and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council.” And what Queen Elizabeth says always goes!
Although it’s unclear why Meghan goes by Meghan and not Rachel, during an interview with Esquire, she made it seem like her parents had actually called her “Meghan” or “Meg” her entire life. With her dad in showbiz — specifically working as the director of photography on the sitcom Married … with Children — the publication asked what it was like growing up on a television set.
“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 said. “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.'”
So, Meg it was! Even though fans still don’t have a clear answer as to why her parents didn’t use her real name, there are more important things to question. Like, what does Prince Harry call her behind closed doors? Meghan or Rachel? And will Prince Harry and Meghan’s son come to be known by a cute little nickname of his own? The new parents named him Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, likely as an homage to Prince Harry’s late mom, Princess Diana, and her ancestor Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll. Archie is already a nickname — but then, Henry and Rachel aren’t exactly a mouthful, either!
The names of the former senior royals also came into question when it was brought to light that they changed their names on Archie’s birth certificate in June 2019, one month after they welcomed him. Originally written as Rachel Meghan, the Horrible Bosses star’s name was amended to: Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry‘s name was also tweaked to add the word “prince,” so it now says: His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex.
“The change of name on public documents in 2019 was dictated by The Palace, as confirmed by documents from senior Palace officials,” Meghan’s rep told Us Weekly in January 2021. “This was not requested by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex nor by The Duke of Sussex.”
There you have it, Rachel Meghan’s name explained!