Why Duchess Meghan Markle is being referred to as a “divorced wife”

The Duchess's new title has caused some confusion.

meghan markle royal title divorced woman
(Image credit: Getty)

Duchess Meghan Markle’s title is currently under review by the palace. The royal has dropped her HRH title just earlier this week.

Duchess Meghan Markle’s title is reportedly under review by Buckingham Palace, after she was given a title that is usually used to “express divorce”.

Upon dropping the HRH from their titles earlier this week (opens in new tab), Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan were given new titles: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

However, palace sources have now confirmed to Sky News that the palace is reviewing how the Duke and Duchess will be referred to in the future, as Duchess Meghan has been given a title that follows the template of a “divorced wife”.

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“The palace [on Saturday] made an announcement about what the duke and duchess were to be called,” said Sky events commentator Alastair Bruce.

"But it inadvertently gives all the wrong messages because, in convention, the style suggested is the one adopted to express divorce.

"As a result, this will be revisited and I'm sure that the expert, called Garter King of Arms, can provide advice.

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The issue arises where Duchess Meghan’s new titles includes a comma in the same place as that of women who have divorced royal men.

"What had been suggested was 'Meghan, Duchess of Sussex' but placing the first name and comma before the title is the template for a divorced wife,” continued Alastair.

"As an example, Harry's mother was styled after her divorce as 'Diana, Princess of Wales' and the same format applies, post-divorce, to 'Sarah, Duchess of York’”.

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This comes after the Duke and Duchess dropped their HRH titles earlier this week when it was confirmed by Buckingham Palace that they are ‘no longer working members of the Royal Family’.

While they will still retain the HRH titles, they will no longer be using them as they have been ‘required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments’ and will ‘no longer formally represent The Queen’.

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.