Will Meghan and Harry's baby be a prince or princess? The answer is shockingly complicated.

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent

What will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby’s name be? Well, it’s a surprisingly complicated matter. Here’s everything you need to know.

Will Meghan and Harry’s baby have an official title?

Harry and Meghan's children won’t be a prince or princess because titles within the royal family are limited. According to a provision issued in 1917 by the Queen's grandfather King George V, “...the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.”

But why do George, Charlotte and Louis get to be called prince and princess?

While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first born George was always set to be a prince (as he is the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales), their daughter Charlotte was supposed to have been known as Lady Charlotte. However, in 2012 the Queen issued an amendment so that all of William and Kate’s children would be either a prince or princess and given the Her/His Royal Highness (HRH) title.

Can the Queen make Harry and Meghan’s kids princes or princesses?

Her Majesty could decide to do the same for Harry and Meghan's children, but without some official proclamation, they will be a lord or lady.

What last name will Meghan and Harry’s baby have?

When it comes to last names, all descendants in the male line of the monarch, other than females who marry or have married, use the last name Windsor, as set out in the Letters Patent 1917.

The Duke of Edinburgh wasn’t able to pass his surname to his children. He had hoped that when his wife took the throne, his adopted last name, Mountbatten, would become double-barrelled with Windsor, but that was not agreed to by then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Yet a declaration made by the Queen in Privy Council in 1960 said that male-line descendants of the monarch, without royal styles and titles, shall bear the name Mountbatten-Windsor.

If Harry and Meghan's child is not issued a title, they will carry that last name.

The Royal family's website adds: "For the most part, members of the Royal Family who are entitled to the style and dignity of HRH Prince or Princess do not need a surname, but if at any time any of them do need a surname (such as upon marriage), that surname is Mountbatten-Windsor."

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