meghan markle signs an autograph

Why Meghan Markle's signature will have to change now that she's a royal

The Duchess of Sussex also won't be allowed to sign autographs for fans

Ainhoa Barcelona

The Duchess of Sussex will have to follow certain rules now that she's a member of the royal family – including changing her signature. Before her marriage to Prince Harry, the former actress would always use her maiden name, 'Meghan Markle', when giving her autograph to fans and when signing guest books as a royal-to-be. In April, three weeks before her wedding, she signed a note following an Anzac Day dawn service, using both her first name and surname.

However, Meghan will simply have to use her first name now that she's a Duchess. Her sister-in-law Kate used to sign as 'Catherine Middleton' before her marriage to William, but dropped her maiden name after her wedding. She now signs as 'Catherine', just like Prince William and Prince Harry have always signed as 'William' and 'Harry', without their surnames.

meghan markles signature

Meghan used to sign her full name before her marriage to Harry

Meghan, 36, will also have to get used to another very important rule when greeting fans – she won't be allowed to give her autograph. A long-standing rule remains in place for all royals, because of the risk of the signature being forged. Prince Charles has previously been heard turning down a fan, politely saying: "Sorry, they don't allow me to do that." Meghan notably broke royal protocol during her visit to Wales as a bride-to-be, when she signed one little girl's notebook for her.

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kate middletons signature

Kate dropped her maiden name after her wedding to William

When she first got into acting, Meghan split her time between auditioning and doing freelance calligraphy. She previously revealed to Esquire that calligraphy was her "pseudo-waitressing job". She explained: "I didn't wait tables. I did calligraphy for the invitations for, like, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton's wedding."

See Kate and Meghan's royal 'firsts' compared...

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Paula also praised Meghan's beautiful script, telling Town & Country: "I met her because she helped me with my wedding invitations. She had this beautiful writing." Of their encounter, Paula added: "That moment I feel like I said something to her. Like, 'You are meant to be royal.' She was just so graceful and lovely, and actually really kind."

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