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Meghan has signalled she will exercise her right to vote in the US election on November 3. But she won’t head to the ballot as ‘The Duchess of Sussex’ despite still bearing the title, US royal historian Marlene Koenig said. She told Express.co.uk: “Her title would not be on the voter registration because that is not a name.”
While the voter registration database does not register Meghan with the royal title she acquired on May 19 2018, it is trickier to understand which surname she will be recorded with.
Mrs Koenig, who writes in her blog Royal Musings, noted the public doesn’t know whether Meghan has decided to take Prince Harry’s last name.
She said: “Meghan had not yet become a permanent resident with leave to remain before she and Harry moved abroad.
“She travelled on a US passport, not a diplomatic one because she is not a US diplomat, not representing the US.
“We do not know if she obtained official copies of her wedding license to change her name on her passport, social security (the first thing you change).
“If she never changed her legal surname, she would be Rachel Meghan Markle, but if she did change her surname to her married name – it would be Rachel Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor, but it would not be Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, because Duchess of Sussex is not her surname.
“As a royal, she would sign her first name only, but this would not apply in the US for documents such as licenses, passports, voter registration.”
The official name of the British Royal Family has been House of Windsor since 1917, when King George V decided to get rid of the Germanophile Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
However, since 1960, all male-line descendants of the Queen without any royal styles and titles have been acquiring Mountbatten-Windsor as their last name.
This has been the case for Archie Harrison, Meghan and Harry’s son, after his parents decided not to give him a title in a bid to grant him more freedom and shield him from public scrutiny.
However, the surname Mountbatten-Windsor has been used on occasions – also by senior royals bearing a title and an HRH style.
On their wedding days, both Prince Andrew and Princess Anne signed the official marriage registry using this last name.
And in 2012, Prince William filed a lawsuit against a French magazine as William Mountbatten-Windsor.
Speaking about the paperwork Meghan needs to file following her return to the US, Mrs Koenig said: “She certainly would need to change her voter registration due to a new address, whether she votes in person or by mail.”
Meghan has taken part in various public engagements over the past few weeks to speak about the importance of registering to vote and citizens making their voices heard in the upcoming election.
Participating in the When All Women Vote event organised by the When We All Vote group, the Duchess said: “When I think about voting and why this is so exceptionally important for all of us, I would frame it as, we vote to honour those who came before us and to protect those who will come after us.
“Because that’s what community is all about and that’s specifically what this election is all about.
“We’re only 75 days away from election day and that is so very close, and yet there’s so much work to be done in that amount of time, because we all know what’s at stake this year.”
Attending the virtual summit organised by The 19th*, a new non-for-profit news organisation, Meghan also highlighted how Prince Harry, due to his royal status which requires to remain neutral in the UK, never voted.
She said: “My husband, for example.
“He’s never been able to vote, and I think it’s such an interesting thing to say that the right to vote is not a privilege, it’s a right in and of itself.”
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