Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quietly erased her first names from son Archie’s birth certificate in an unprecedented move, it has been reported. Little Archie was born on May 6, 2019, and his birth was registered 11 days later before the amendment was made on June 5. The tot's birth papers no longer shows 'Rachel Meghan' as his mum instead it reads 'Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex'.
The unusual change occured as rumours were growing of a rift between Harry, brother William and their partners, The Sun reports. The move could be perceived as a snub to the Cambridges as all three of their children have Kate's names on their birth certificates. It may also be viewed as Harry placing Meghan at equals with his mum Princess Diana who always used “Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales”.
Days after the changes were made Harry and Meghan walked away from the Fab Four’s joint charity and had quit the Royal family within months. The caustic split from the royals was dubbed 'Megxit' by commentators. Harry and Meghan have since moved to North America with Archie and secured lucrative deals with powerhouse companies like Netflix and Spotify.
Lady Colin Campbell, who discovered the amendment, said: “It is extraordinary and raises all kinds of questions about what the Sussexes were thinking.”
Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s ex-press secretary, said the changes could be "an early part of their plan.”
Royal expert Ingrid Seward added: “For a royal to change a birth certificate is unprecedented but to remove forenames is remarkable. Perhaps this is another sign they were desperate to do something different to the Cambridges.”
The news comes as reports claim Meghan may not return to Britain with Harry during several planned visits later this year. The Duchess of Sussex is said to be unlikely to accompany her husband at a number of functions this summer - although the move is not said to be a snub. Sources, speaking to the Daily Mail, said the choice has been made for several reasons and her absence will avoid the inevitable public and media hype a joint appearance would bring.
Insiders also stressed that the situation is still very much up in the air due to the ongoing global pandemic and other factors. It is thought that Harry, 36, will return to Britain to see his relatives in June and July, when his grandfather Prince Philip turns 100 and a statue erected in tribute to his late mother Diana is unveiled.