This weekend, the Sun, which is one of the British tabloids that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are suing, published an article about the change on Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’s birth certificate. There’s been a lot of controversy about this so let’s break it down.
Archie was born May 6, 2019. His birth certificate was issued on May 17, and a request to change it was made on June 5. There were two changes to his parents’ names. Originally Prince Harry was referred to as:
His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex
The request was for that be changed to:
His Royal Highness PRINCE Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex
It was the addition of “Prince” in Harry’s title.
For Meghan, the original was:
Rachel Meghan Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex
And the change:
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex
In other words, Harry had the word “Prince” added to his title on the birth certificate… and Meghan basically lost her given names.
Which led to the Sun speculating that this was something petty, that it was the Sussexes trying to stick it to the British royal family and/or the Cambridges, William and Kate, somehow. Their focus, you’ll note, was only on Meghan dropping her given names and being referred to as “The Duchess of Sussex” and not on Harry’s title to include the word “Prince”. The Sun then added commentary from royal experts who’ve shown bias against the Sussexes, and Meghan in particular, in the past, surmising that something suspicious was afoot.
And this prompted Harry and Meghan to release a statement clarifying how all this went down. When I say statement, I mean a clapback:
In other words, it was the Palace that requested the correction, NOT them. And, ahem, the Sun got it wrong again. Speaking of getting sh-t wrong though… while we’re up:
Prince Harry has accepted an apology and â€œsubstantial damagesâ€ from the Mail on Sunday over â€œbaseless, false and defamatoryâ€ allegations that he turned his back on the Royal Marines. A statement read by his lawyer at a High Court hearing today criticised the paperâ€™s conduct: pic.twitter.com/lp9JrI8nOz— Omid Scobie (@scobie) February 1, 2021
Although we’re no strangers to the chronic f-ckery of the Sun and the Daily Mail, let’s go back to the part where Meghan elucidates that the name change was “dictated by The Palace”. Interesting choice of verb here: dictated. That word implies force, authority – and, sure, of course, The Palace is the monarchy, the sovereign. What they say… goes. Even if it means ERASING SOMEONE’S NAME.
That’s one of the big takeaways here, right? According to Meghan and Harry, the Palace wanted it, might even have ordered it. So let them wear it. Why is it that a Black woman had her name removed from her child’s birth certificate? Why was that dictated to her?!
So there’s another takeaway – this was the environment Harry and Meghan were living in, and the one they would have exposed their child to had they not decided to bounce. It can’t be a mystery then why they came to that, can it? When that kind of malice was around them?
My theory here is that the Palace’s initial focus was on the addition of the word “Prince” to Harry’s title, that that was, at the beginning, their priority. And then, whoever it was that filled out that paperwork decided to, you know, since they were there, make another adjustment, a really, really offensive one. One that illuminates their micro and macro racial aggressions and their misogyny.
But … even as I write this, the drama may not be over. I’m hearing that the Palace might be fighting back and putting out their version of events about the name change. If that is indeed what’s happening, curious to see how strong their language will be. We should know soon. More on this name drama tomorrow. We may have to bring Duana in.