The Real Reason Meghan Markle Changed Her Name On Archie's Birth Certificate

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have made the focus of their only child, Archie Harrison, their main priority ever since the little one's arrival in May 2019. Not only have the Duke of Sussex and the former Suits actress uprooted their lives, moving from the U.K. to Santa Barbara, Calif., but Meghan and Harry have also made tons of life changes in the past year for the sake of their son.

At the time they announced their decision to step back from the royal family in January 2020, the couple shared their plans to become "financially independent" from Queen Elizabeth. Though Harry and Meghan noted they fully plan on "continuing to honor [their] duty to The Queen," they want to give Archie a more normal upbringing away from the high-profile life in London.

"This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter," read the royal duo's statement on their now-inactive Instagram account.

Since settling down in Santa Barbara in July 2020, per Hello!, Meghan and Harry have embraced their quiet new lives, which includes staying away from teaching Archie any royal protocol (via Closer Weekly). Though the Hollywood alum "wasn't a fan" of her hubby's royal rules, she recently gave a nod to the British family when she changed her name on her son's birth certificate. Keep scrolling to find out why.

Meghan Markle's name change is a nod to someone special

Meghan Markle made an update to son Archie's birth certificate, taking her first and middle names — "Rachel Meghan" — off the document. In the latest copy of the certificate, obtained by the U.K.'s The Sun, the former Deal or No Deal model replaced her moniker with "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex."

Per the document, Meghan made the adjustments nearly a month after Archie's birth on May 6, 2019. Meghan's name change is quite significant, as it appears to be "a nod to" Harry's late mother and beloved royal, Princess Diana, who always went by "Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales" (via Daily Mail).

Though Meghan never had the opportunity the meet Diana, who died at age 36 in August 1997 following a tragic car crash, Harry believes his mom would have shared a great bond with his wife. At the time the couple got engaged in November 2017, the handsome prince revealed what he thinks Diana would have thought about his romance with the actress.

"Oh, they'd be thick as thieves, without question," Harry gushed to Sky News. "I think she'd be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know, so excited for me — but then, as I said, would have probably been best friends with Meghan." Fortunately, Meghan can continue to honor Diana's incredible memory. 

Archie's name almost wasn't Archie

If you remember all the fanfare around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 2018 wedding, you'll likely also remember all the speculation surrounding the birth of their first child, Archie. Nearly as soon as the royal couple announced they were expecting, everyone from the press to your next-door neighbor had their own ideas about the world would be calling the soon-to-be seventh in line for the throne.

If their firstborn was a girl, there were a few contenders for the name. These included the more obvious like Diana and Elizabeth and a couple of wildcards like Elenor and Dorthea. Royal watchers thought the couple might go with Elenor as a nod to heroic medieval Queens and Dorthea as it sounds a bit like Doria, Meghan's mother's name, per Today.

If the little one was a prince, people's money was on Henry (Harry's real name), Philip (after Prince Philip), Charles (after Grandpa), or Albert (Harry's middle name), per PopSugar. Ultimately the Royal's went with Archie, and a good thing too, because the reasoning behind the name will make you swoon.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry chose the perfect name for their baby

The rarely-seen baby Archie's full name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (try saying that three times fast!), which is quite a mouthful for a little baby, but it turns out there's a lot of significance behind the name. First, it's important to note that unlike Prince Harry, Archie is not a prince, so the fancy prefix is not affixed to his name.

While "Archie" is traditionally short for "Archibald," Archie's first name isn't short for anything–it's just Archie. Think of it as a modern update on a very antiqued name. The meaning behind Archie, or "Archibald," is "bold" or "brave," which people were quick to point out reflected the couple's personality, what with breaking from royal tradition — and eventually, the royals all together, per Time.

It's the middle name, Harrison, though, that will really melt your heart. Who is Harrison, anyway? One of Harry or Meghan Markle's close friends, perhaps? A favorite literary character, maybe? No — don't overcomplicate it. Harrison is just a sweet nod to Archie's dad, as the literal meaning is "son of Harry," per The Independent. We're not crying, you're crying.