What Is Prince Harry's Last Name and Will Meghan Markle Take It?

Suits alum Meghan Markle is expected to get her fairy-tale ending upon marrying fiancé Prince Harry Saturday. With the upcoming nuptials, Markle is also slated to receive a new title and surname.

The royal family does have a surname but doesn't typically use it. Instead, they primarily go by their first names. In the case the last name is ever needed, they could refer to themselves as "Mountbatten-Windsor." The only two remaining royal family members who use "Mountbatten-Windsor" are Prince Edward's children, Louise and James, the queen's grandchildren.

"As a descendant of the queen, Harry's official last name is Mountbatten-Windsor. However, seeing as his dad is the Prince of Wales, he can also use 'Wales' as a last name," Melanie Bromley, E! News chief correspondent and royal family expert, told Newsweek. "'Wales' seems to be his preferred last name; it's what Harry used when he was at school and in the armed forces. Meghan can also take 'Mountbatten-Windsor' if she'd like, once she's said her vows."

Markle, born Rachel Meghan Markle, will likely receive a royal title upon marrying Harry.

"Harry's name is His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Henry of Wales. We expect the queen to create him, Duke of Sussex," Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, told Newsweek. "If you marry a prince you become a princess, and Meghan's style will thus be HRH The Duchess of Sussex."

The royal family did not have a surname until King George V, Harry's great-great-grandfather, adopted "Windsor" as the official last name of his family amid an "anti-German feeling" due to World War I in 1917, the royal family's website states. About 40 years later, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip chose an entirely new last name for their family: Mountbatten-Windsor. Unless the Prince of Wales determines to make further changes upon becoming king, he will continue to be the House of Windsor. His grandchildren will subsequently go by Mountbatten-Windsor.

Royal titles were limited by George V, who issued a Letters Patent in 1917. Therefore, any potential children Markle and Harry have will not be referred to as "prince" or "princess." Instead, they would be deemed "Lord" or "Lady" (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor.

"In the event of Harry and Meghan having a family, they would expect to be Lord or Lady Mountbatten-Windsor whilst the queen reigned," Fitzwilliams said. "When Charles succeeded to the throne, they would be the grandchildren of the monarch on the male side and could receive an HRH. It also depends if Harry or Meghan would want them to receive a title. Zara and Mike Tindall wanted no titles for their children."

The queen could make an exception for Harry and Markle as she did for Prince William and Duchess Catherine in 2012. At the time, the Queen issued a decree that allowed for the couple's children to receive "prince" and "princess" titles.

harry, meghan pics
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave an Anzac Day commemoration service at London's Westminster Abbey on April 25. After marrying Harry, Markle could take her soon-to-be husband's surname. Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
What Is Prince Harry's Last Name and Will Meghan Markle Take It? | Culture