“Meghan Markle” is the kind of charming, alliterative name that befits a storybook character or an A-list celebrity — which is probably why the Suits actress-turned-future royal chose it.
Queen Elizabeth gave her formal consent for Prince Harry to marry Markle on Thursday, March 15th, in the process reminding the world of both Harry and Meghan’s real names. As we often forget, Prince Harry’s given name is actually Henry, and Meghan Markle’s real name is…Rachel?
“My Lords, 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,” Queen Elizabeth wrote via a letter from Buckingham Palace, “which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.”
No, the queen is not misremembering Meghan’s name. She’s just being as formal as the situation requires. As fifth in line to the throne, Harry needs official permission from his grandmother, ruler of the Commonwealth, to marry under the Succession to the Crown Act, and it’s only natural Queen Elizabeth granted that permission using both parties’ full legal names.
Though the world knows the future royal as Meghan, it’s actually her middle name. Markle traded it for her first name, like many actors and actresses in Hollywood (Karen Lucille Hale, David Jude Law, and Christopher Ashton Kutcher come to mind). And, as Suits fans will remember gleefully, Markle’s real first name matches her Suits character’s name, Rachel Zane.
If you had no idea about Meghan — er, Rachel’s — real name, don’t fret: Neither did we. Until further notice, we’re going to go right on calling her Meghan to save us all the confusion.