Meghan ruffles royal feathers with Archie birth certificate statement

Today’s post surrounds Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s birth certificate. Before we get into it, no matter where any of us stands on Harry and Meghan and their status as royals, I think we can all agree that Archie is one of the cutest babies any of us has ever seen. Those cheeks! Okay, back to non-baby analysis.

There has recently been a kerfuffle (do people outside Canada use this word? It means “a commotion or fuss”) over Meghan having quietly changed her name on Archie’s birth certificate. Here’s what went down:

When Archie was born in May of 2019, this is what his birth certificate said:

Archie’s birth certificate.
  • Archie’s full name was listed as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. This is the surname of members of the British Royal Family descending from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The Windsor comes from Queen Elizabeth’s family (as in, the House of Windsor) and Mountbatten is from Prince Philip’s German family.
    • Any royal children who a) do not receive a title upon birth, b) do not take their paternal surname, if available (aka Zara and Peter Tindall’s children are Mia and Lena Tindall) or c) need a surname for any forms, etc. that require it are Mountbatten Windsors. Therefore, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
  • Meghan was listed as “Rachel Meghan Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex”, which is standard. Kate was listed as “Catherine Elizabeth Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge” on her kids’ birth certificates.
  • Harry was listed as “His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex”. This was edited a short while later to include “Prince” in his full listed name, which mirrors Prince William’s name on all three of his kids’ birth certificates (see below).
  • I feel like there’s evidence for naming conventions to be done one way when you’re born into the royal family, and another when you have a commoner name and then marry into the royal family, though I don’t have official proof of this. See:
How the Birth Certificate of Prince Louis Differs from Prince George and Princess  Charlotte's
Princess Charlotte’s birth certificate.

This is all well and good. So, about a month after Archie’s birth certificate was issued, a note of correction was made. This indicated that Harry’s name would have the word “Prince” added in, which I already mentioned. That was fixing an error and it’s good that it was fixed. But the correction also noted that Meghan’s section would have her given names removed. She would be listed on the certificate as “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex”. This is what people are up in arms about.

This is such a small issue that it wasn’t even picked up by the press for 18 months. Apparently, an eagle-eyed Twitter user noticed the changes. Again, the Harry change is just to fall in line with how his brother’s name reads on his kids’ birth certificates. The strange bit is that Meghan would remove her given names from her child’s birth certificate, especially when there isn’t royal precedent for it. She was choosing to remove her given names, and no one can really figure out why.

After a few days of speculation, Meghan had a spokesperson issue a statement on her behalf re: the birth certificate name change. (Keep in mind that her decision to remove her given names from the certificate happened almost two years ago):

Way to throw fuel on a fire!

Meghan’s main argument for why she removed her given names from Archie’s birth certificate is “The Palace made me.” First of all, I don’t have a Buckingham Palace style guide, but I HIGHLY doubt that one needs to capitalize the “the” in “The Palace”. Capitalization of “Palace” could go either way, depending on who is writing the style guide; but capitalizing the “the” is incorrect. Sorry, editor problems. Meghan’s spokesperson also calls her “Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex”, which, as I’ve pointed out 800 times, is also incorrect. It should either be “The Duchess of Sussex” or “Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.”

Second, all this statement does is create more questions. If a palace dictated this change to Archie’s birth certificate, which palace was it? Buckingham? Kensington? Or Clarence House by way of Buckingham? Who gave that order and why? Apparently this change was made to reflect the name on Meghan’s new, married-woman passport. But that doesn’t make sense, since her given names would be required on a passport? Even if she is Duchess of Sussex? I’m so confused.

Third, by issuing a statement about “clickbait”, Meghan has just ensured another week of clickbaity headlines about the original clickbait story.

I think that the likeliest explanation is probably the true one, and it’s that Meghan wanted to look royal and fancy and important in official documents, so she asked for her given names to be removed. And, because how often does the local birth registry/passport office get a royal document request?, they didn’t know what the right thing to write in was and they trusted that Meghan knew what her newly married name was. I doubt anyone at the Westminster registry office has a direct line to Buckingham Palace so they can get the correct wording on a change to a birth certificate. So they allowed the change.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Son Archie Reportedly 'Loves Being Outside  in Nature' | Glamour

This is the sort of story that, in a weird way, encapsulates Harry and Meghan’s actions post-Megxit: they’re not being particularly malicious or heroic. Things would have probably never been mentioned had one or both of them not fiddled with it. They’re just people who can’t seem to get out of their own way. Their fatal flaw is that they need to pick at things, and I think they will continue to pick at good and bad and inconsequential things, maybe for the rest of their lives.

Thanks for reading. Do you have any theories on why Meghan removed her names from Archie’s birth certificate? Let me know! Buy me a coffee here, buy merch here (it’s the last month to buy it, so if you’ve been waiting, this is your sign to get it!). Stay safe and wear a mask.

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3 thoughts on “Meghan ruffles royal feathers with Archie birth certificate statement

  1. My thoughts are thus: this was a non-story that started over the weekend. By commenting on it and blaming “The Palace” she has now ensured it becomes a big story – bigger than it actually deserves to be. By blaming “The Palace” she’s angered her base who will now lash out at the RF. What’s sneaky, is what you said “which Palace? Which Palace staff? Hers? Harry’s? I just read on Twitter that Royal sources are “bewildered” by this and that it was Meghan who asked her staff to change the birth certificate. All I know is my popcorn supply is dangerously low.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, so I was going to say that in this particular story I was taking Meghan and her word at face value, but the comments by the prior commentator gave me pause. I went to other websites and found the articles about the bewildered palace staff, so after reading that my (modified) take on this is the following: before Meghan’s spokeperson statement, there were 2 main theories about this change, a) that M and H wanted to snub Kate and Will by using a different format to the one used by Kate in her 3 children birth certificates, b) that this whole thing was a nod to Diana who signed her sons birth certificates as “HRH the Princess of Wales”. Today’s statement from Megan’s camp seemed quite adamant that this wasn’t a snub to Kate (I think that insistence could give pause to some because overeagerness sometimes gives off vibes that you are trying to hide something), but they could have gone with the nod to Diana version, yet they pretty much indicted other people for this decision, like an accusation / denounciation. Now, the reason why I was ready to believe M on this one is because I do believe the courtiers are capable of presuring a new member of the BRF that just married into the institution, because this happened to Diana and Fergie. Fergie even said in her 90s autobiography that she received such a scolding while 7 / 8 months pregnant with Eugenie that the fetus turned (it was in the correct position for delivery prior to that), and there was no way to turn the fetus back so Eugenie was born via C-section unlike Beatrice (Fergie even wrote she still had the scar, a memento of the “gray men”, also bear in mind this was 30 years ago so I think nowadays there are more techniques to turn the fetus). So yeah, I do believe the courtiers are capable of doing something like this to make M look bad or arrogant or whatever, but now we have courtiers or former courtiers (we don’t know who these insiders are, only that they were staff with knowledge of this), fighting back in the media. So we are left without knowing who to believe. As for “The Palace” wording, first the capital letter in “The” was dumb, but like everything else this was the product of a PR firm based in the US that doesn’t care to find out how it should be done, and their employers M and H don’t care that much either; second, I believe by “Palace” they mean the entire Royal Household, all the grey men / courtiers, so mainly it wouldn’t be a single palace but all of them. That said, based on Diana and Fergie’s experience, if we want to be specific I would say is mainly Buckingham Palace, I say this because Fergie had her scolding there. Your theory that M just wanted to sound regal could be what actually happened, and I don’t know if we will know more about this or if what actually happened will be included in a book in 5 or 10 years, but I agree with your comment that M and H want to address everything, they have thin skin (though I was originally glad about the statement because it seemed to settle this thing and the whole Kate snubed theory seeemed so petty, now we just don’t know what happened). I read an article from the Daily Beast online and they didn’t seem to buy the statement, and I undestand they are a US medium, so it will be interesting to see how M and H image keeps evolving in both UK and US.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Since this was done months ago but just brought to light, I think there’s a whole list of things H&M have done under the radar that will garner publicity when it’s pointed out. I think they pull an item from the list & spin it whichever way they need the publicity to go, pro H&M or anti The Big Bad Unidentifiable Palace, and comment on it accordingly.
    I find it extremely odd that Meghan will sue/threaten to sue at the slightest hint of privacy breech but has remained radio silent on Archie’s birth. I think she wanted to stir up the surrogate birth buzz again by bringing the birth certificate change to light so she can go into the court for the final ruling as oft attacked woe is me Rachel plagiarized miscarriage story Duchess of Sussex.

    Liked by 2 people

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