Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry changed their names on Archie's birth certificate a few weeks after his birth in 2019. But the revision was only noticed now, in 2021, after The Sun published a new copy of the document.

Meghan Markle removed names on Archie's birth certificate

For Duchess Meghan, the given name on the certificate was shortened. In June 2019, she deleted her legal first and middle names: Rachel Meghan. Thus, "Rachel Meghan Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex" became only "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex," as seen in The Sun's document.

But Prince Harry also made a name change on Archie's birth certificate. He kept his first name, but added "Prince" to his title. So his name now reads as "His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David The Duke of Sussex."

It's not yet known why the royal couple made the change. The Sun suggests a range of theories, including that Meghan wanted to follow Princess Diana—who also always used her title "Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales" without a first name—or that the Sussexes were "snubbing" the Cambridges, because Duchess Kate has used her first name on her children's birth certificates.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan in June 2019, when name changes were made.

It's also been observed that the changes occurred during the early period of tensions between Prince Harry and Prince William. Harry and Meghan were "approached for comment" by the British newspaper, but no statement was reported.

For now, the deliberate name and title changes have become a curiosity: was this a strategic move or a sign of what was to come with the royal exit just a few months later?

UPDATE: Duchess Meghan has since released a statement through her rep addressing the changes.

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