Harry And Meghan Are Not Getting Married Today
Neither of those names are their correct given names.
What you need to know
- Harry and Meghan are not their actual given names
- After the wedding, Markle will also technically be known as Princess Henry of Wales
- Get ready to be confused
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Harry and Meghan are not getting married on Saturday.
Henry and Rachel, however, are. So don't worry too much.
Do a quick scan of any website, newspaper or TV news bulletin right now. Chances are that some variation on 'Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married today' is one of their top stories. Would it blow your mind, even just a little bit, to learn that neither of those names are their correct given names?
The prince's birth name is actually Henry Charles Albert David, but has been known as Harry for almost his whole life. According to the royal family's official website, his correct title is His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales. It was even in the headline of the official engagement announcement from Clarence House last November:
The announcement drew surprise from many people at the time, with some even thinking that the royal family had gotten the prince's name wrong -- but nope, Henry is his actual name, not Harry.
Those named Henry over the years have often been referred to as Harry, as far back as playwright William Shakespeare who used the nickname in his plays including Henry IV and Henry V.
But Harry/Henry is not the only one to sport a name other than the one they were given at birth. His bride-to-be, Meghan Markle, actually has a different first name -- Rachel. Meghan is her middle name, but is the name she has used professionally in her acting career.
The Queen herself even confirmed the name switcheroo when declaring the impending wedding to Britain's Privy Council in March.
"I declare my Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council," she wrote in the declaration.
Want to make it even more confusing? After the wedding, Markle will technically be known as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. However, if she were feeling very keen, she could announce herself as Princess Henry of Wales.
Yep, an old British royal tradition means the wives of royalty can add their husbands names to their official title. Not a lot of royal brides publicly use their husband's name though, with Princess Michael of Kent -- who married Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen's cousin, in 1978 -- a notable recent exception.
"Traditionally, all wives of male members of the British Royal Family, the aristocracy and members of the public take the style and title of their husbands. Diana, Princess of Wales was not “Princess Diana” as the media called her, because she was not born a British princess. Her correct title was The Princess of Wales and when she divorced she became Diana, Princess of Wales," reads an answer on Prince Michael's website explaining the convention that saw his wife take his name.
"When the present Duke of Gloucester was still Prince Richard prior to the death of his father, his wife was known as Princess Richard. It just so happens that Prince Michael is the only grandson of a king titled HRH who is a second son and so there are no other princesses with the name of their husbands. The other princesses in the British royal family were all born into the royal house."
So there you are. Harry and Meghan aren't getting married on Saturday -- Henry and Rachel are. We will be LIVE streaming Henry and Rachel's historical royal wedding right here on ten daily from 6pm. Click here to get all the details you need to know.