Why William and Harry's children have different surnames

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When it comes to the royal family, we know that they all have sweet nicknames for each other - Prince William has an adorable name for Princess Charlotte that only he uses, Kate Middleton calls her husband 'babe' or 'darling' and Prince George's classmates even have a special for him.

But when it comes to their surnames, have you ever wondered why they differ?

Prince William and Kate Middleton's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, are known as Cambridge - due to their parents Duke and Duchess of Cambridge titles - but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's children, Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana, aren't referred to as Sussex. Instead, their surnames are Mountbatten-Windsor.

As children, William and Harry used the surname Wales in reference to their father, Prince Charles', Prince of Wales title. While serving in the army, William was known as Lieutenant Wales and Harry was Captain Wales.

However, William took on the Cambridge surname when he was gifted the Dukedom by the Queen on his wedding day.

Harry and Meghan were given the Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, but their children didn't take that as a surname due to an old royal rule set by the Queen in 1960. It states that male line descendants of the reigning monarch that are without royal titles would take Mountbatten-Windsor instead so as to distinguish their own direct families. Harry and Meghan's children do not use Prince or Princess titles.

The official website of the royal family reads: 'In 1960, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh decided that they would like their own direct descendants to be distinguished from the rest of the Royal Family.

'It was therefore declared in the Privy Council 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.'

Well, now you know!

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.