Here’s why Prince William and Prince Harry’s children will have different surnames

And it totally makes sense…

(Image credit: REX)

And it totally makes sense…

The royals are so known by their royal titles that we often forget that they actually have surnames - given that the Queen doesn’t need a passport, she hardly needs a surname.

But they do have an official surname - Mountbatten-Windsor - a combination of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s family names, something that any fans of The Crown will know.

But with so many Mountbatten-Windsors in the royal family, how on earth can they be distinguished from each other?

Well, the royals often go by the name of their family Dukedom - making it easier to tell them apart, and letting them blend into normal life.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have taken ‘Cambridge’ as their surname, enrolling their children to school under the moniker, to ensure that they live a normal life, without their school friends having to call them HRH.

This is something that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will undoubtedly follow, giving their future children the surname ‘Sussex’, a nod to their new title, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

But it was actually Prince Charles and Princess Diana who started the tradition, giving Princes William and Harry the surname 'Wales', taking from their title as the Prince and Princess of Wales.

So Harry and Wills may share the same surname still, but their children won't.

Royals - so confusing!

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.