Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet are not the only royal children to be given new surnames - Prince George, Charlotte and Louis have already had three!

It's not all that unusual for royal kids to be known by various names throughout their lives

Prince Archie, Princess Lilibet, Prince George, Charlotte and Louis
(Image credit: Netfix/Getty)

While royal fans and experts alike were surprised by Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet's change of surname, they are not the only royal children to be given new ones - their cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have already had three! 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's rebrand has caught a lot of attention from royal fans and experts alike. But one of the biggest changes they've made doesn't even concern the couple, but instead their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet

As part of the rebrand, the two youngsters have dropped their surnames of Mountbatten-Windsor in favour of taking the titled surname given to their parents upon their marriage in 2018, which made Harry and Meghan the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Subsequently, their children will now be known as Prince Archie Sussex and Princess Lilibet Diana Sussex. 

The move was a bit of a surprise, coming at a random time and for seemingly no poignant reason. But, it's not actually unusual for royal children to have their surnames changed to align with their parents titles. In fact, in changing their kids' surnames, Harry and Meghan are actually following a precedent set by Prince William and Kate Middleton

While the legal surname of all royals is Mountbatten-Windsor, there are a few exceptions that mean they can take on a new one. "The [monarch]'s descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor," the Royal website explains. Therefore, Prince William and Kate Middleton's children, all of whom were given HRH titles upon their birth, have been able to have different surnames. However, Archie and Lilibet only received their Prince/Princess titles when King Charles III was coronated last year. 

As GB News Royal reporter Cameron Walker points out, "George Cambridge, Charlotte's Cambridge, Louis Cambridge were written on Kate and William's children's school bags when they started school in Battersea a few years ago."

While George, Charlotte and Louis, who sit second, third and fourth in the royal line of succession, are known as George, Charlotte and Louis Wales to align with William and Kate's latest title of Prince and Princess of Wales, the children have reportedly kept their old surnames of Cambridge, which came from their parents' old titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at school so as not to confuse things too much. But their legal surnames, the ones written on their birth certificates, are the same as their cousins' legal surnames, Mountbatten-Windsor. At the tender ages of five, eight, and ten, they've already had three surnames! 

Walker adds, "So this has happened before, but I think it's the timing that's significant here because, of course, it's been announced that they have adopted the Sussex name for their children at the same time that they've rebranded the website. 

"This is, at the end of the day, a royal title."

Keep up to date with more royal news such as Princess Charlotte's name is full of hidden tributes to Royal Family - did you notice them all? and Prince George is reportedly set to enrol at a secondary school who promise to produce ‘decent, ambitious’ and climate conscious pupils

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.