Here's How Buckingham Palace Responded To Meghan's Claim About Archie's Birth Certificate

In their post-royal lives, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have made it clear that they're putting their son, Archie, first. Since shocking the world by stepping down from the monarchy, the pair have hung up their crowns and relocated to sunny Santa Barbara, where they've been able to enjoy more quality time with each other and their baby boy. "Archie is the priority," a close friend shared with People in 2020. "[Harry's] very much still about taking care of him and putting the family first... And Meghan is a great mom. She's very much about tending to him. They are trying to live their life as regular parents."

Well, regular parents with speaking engagements, a multi-year deal with Netflix, a partnership with Spotify, and their own nonprofit, anyway. But just like any "regular" mom, Meghan does everyday things like walk the dogs, cook meals with her husband, and sign her name on her son's birth certificate. However, the latter activity has been the subject of tabloid fodder since January 2021. On Jan. 30, The Sun reported that Meghan had erased the "Rachel Meghan" on Archie's birth certificate and left only "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex." Though the certificate was registered in May 2019, per The Daily Beast, the change occurred 19 days later. So, what was with the back-and-forth, and why did Meghan point the finger at Buckingham Palace?

Meghan Markle said Buckingham Palace 'dictated' the change

While The Sun speculated that the change made to Archie's birth certificate had something to do with a royal rift between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, other sources soon reported that there was a more sentimental reason at play. According to Daily Mail, "the first names 'Rachel Meghan' were removed from the mother section of the birth certificate to bring it in alliance with Diana's preferred name, 'Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales.'" 

The nod to Diana would make sense, as Prince Harry and Meghan have taken care to honor Harry's late mother in their marriage, including her on the homepage of their nonprofit and planting her favorite flowers at a preschool in Los Angeles on the anniversary of her death in 2020. But once news of the name change broke and prompted widespread speculation, Meghan's team addressed the controversy by explaining that it was "dictated by the palace" (per The Daily Beast) and not in memory of Diana. 

"The change of name on public documents in 2019 was dictated by the palace, as confirmed by documents from senior palace officials," a spokesperson for the duchess confirmed (via The Daily Beast). "This was not requested by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex nor by the Duke of Sussex." The statement closed with a stern rebuke to focus on important events going on in the world, rather than the minutiae of the royal family's inner workings.

Buckingham Palace hit back at Meghan Markle's claims

Once Meghan Markle shrugged off controversy around Archie's birth certificate by blaming palace protocol, it seemed that was that. After all, the royal family works very differently than regular U.S. citizens, so who are we to question a little thing like a name change? Once again, however, it seemed that there was more going on behind the scenes.

On Feb. 2, 2021, Buckingham Palace refuted Meghan's accusations, and though they "refused to comment," a palace insider was quick to spill the dirt (via Daily Mail). "The certificate was changed by the former office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It was changed to ensure consistency of the name and title of the Duchess with other private documents," the source explained. 

Speaking with The Telegraph, another insider heaped blame on the Sussexes' U.S. media team, alleging something "had been lost in translation" as the team was "out of step with what is and is not royal protocol." Ouch! "These are civil documents, there is no protocol," the source added to The Daily Mail.

Harry and Meghan have a rocky relationship with the palace

Harry and Meghan Markle have had a rocky relationship with the palace ever since the duo said sayonara to royal responsibilities and relocated to America. In part, this may have been because of the way the news broke. Queen Elizabeth II was said to have been "blindsided" when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took to Instagram to share the bombshell announcement, according to royal expert Victoria Arbiter (via Today). As someone who has spent decades constructing a careful public persona, the queen isn't one for emotional displays, and likely shied from the way Meghan openly discussed the more personal aspects of her life.

Still, what began as a relationship born from mutual respect has quickly dissolved, leaving Meghan and Harry very publicly at odds with Her Royal Highness. This latest he-said, she-said over Archie's birth certificate proves that things might be even worse than they appear.