Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have tied the knot and said they want to start a family ASAP, the whole world (or so it seems) is waking up each morning wondering, “Is today the day they announce a pregnancy?” No such luck yet, but we imagine that after they do, the next query plaguing the royals-obsessed public will concern the kiddos themselves—particularly, their last names. Inquiring minds want to know, what will their children’s last name be?
While most children take their family’s surname, it’s not so simple within the British monarchy. Prior to 1917, royals didn’t have surnames. Instead, they went by the titles of their house or dynasty.
However, during this time, King George V decided to shake things up, changing the house’s name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor; he also declared all male descendants would take this new family name.
Once Queen Elizabeth II took the throne, she and Prince Philip (whose last name is Mountbatten) decided that their particular branch would contain names that reflect both of their ancestries: Mountbatten-Windsor. The custom didn’t last long, though.
When Prince William and Prince Harry entered the military, they took the last name of Wales, after their father’s title, the Prince of Wales. The tradition seemed to stick, as it was announced back in September when Prince George began school that he would go by “George Cambridge.” His name not only honors his parents’ titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but it’s also believed that this seemingly ordinary designation allows him to blend into the classroom more easily.
Therefore, it’s super likely that Meghan and Harry’s undoubtedly adorable babies will follow in the footsteps of this modern custom. On their wedding day, the queen bestowed the newlyweds with the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which probably means their children will share the surname of Sussex once they go to school.
We’ll be waiting, Meghan and Harry.