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, 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.

MORE: Prince Harry breaks silence with heartbreaking first speech since royal split

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’”.

MORE: Queen ‘particularly proud’ of Duchess Meghan as she brands the Sussexes ‘much loved members of my family’

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 Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

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