What We Know About Meghan Markle's Life As Duchess Of Sussex

The royal wedding is over, but her life as a royal is just beginning.

The royal wedding is over, but the excitement around Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, is not. The two still have to go on their honeymoon (which is rumored to be at a resort in Canada) and there’s already baby talk bubbling up.

But what’s really changed now that Meghan is a part of the royal family? Well, she’s got a new title, a few new addresses and a few things she can’t do now that she’s a duchess.

Meghan Markle in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on her wedding day, May 19. 
Meghan Markle in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on her wedding day, May 19. 

1. She’s got a new title.

On the day of his wedding, Prince Harry (also known as His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales) was granted the title of Duke of Sussex. And after Meghan and Harry said their “I do’s,” Rachel Meghan Markle officially became the Duchess of Sussex, aka Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.

2. And it comes with a coat of arms.

The Duchess of Sussex got her own coat of arms nearly a week after the wedding. Kensington Palace said that she was very involved with its design. The shield includes two references to Meghan’s home state of California: the blue of the shield symbolizes the Pacific Ocean and the golden poppies featured are the state flower.

3. The duchess has new royal duties.

After getting engaged to Prince Harry, Meghan made it clear that she was leaving her acting career behind. Though she hasn’t formally adopted any patronages yet, Kensington Palace said that the duke and duchess have been “visiting local communities and organisations across the U.K. both publicly and privately,” since their engagement in November. The palace added that Meghan will become a patron of the Royal Foundation, an organization Harry and his brother, William, founded in 2011 to pursue philanthropic interests.

4. And a few more rules to follow.

There are lots of traditions and certain protocols to which members of the Royal Family adhere. Now that Meghan is part of the royal family, she’ll be advised against signing autographs, taking selfies, wearing bright nail polish, taking a public political stance or showing bias, or having personal social media accounts (Meghan shut hers down in January).

5. The former actress’ new residence is in a palace.

In Harry and Meghan’s engagement announcement, the palace said that the two were moving into Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace. It has two bedrooms and comes with some pretty great neighbors, as Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and little Prince Louis live in the palace itself (as well as in Anmer Hall in Norfolk, northeast of London).

There are also reports that the newlyweds are moving into Apartment 1 in the palace (which has 21 bedrooms) and possibly leasing a home next to the Beckhams in the Cotswolds.

An aerial view of Kensington Palace, taken in 2002. 
An aerial view of Kensington Palace, taken in 2002. 

6. Meghan is also now a member of the Church of England.

The former actress was raised Protestant (her father is Episcopalian and her mother is Protestant, a spokeswoman for Kensington Palace previously told HuffPost). Prior to the royal wedding, though, Meghan was baptized and confirmed into the Church of England during a ceremony at St. James’s Palace in London in March.

7. But she’s not a British citizen ... yet.

Meghan is going about getting her citizenship the traditional way and isn’t expediting the process just because she’s a involved with the royal family. Jason Knauf, Prince Harry’s communication’s secretary, told BBC that Meghan’s citizenship process could take years.

“I can also say she intends to become a U.K. citizen and will go through the process of that, which some of you may know takes a number of years,” he said in December 2017, adding that she would be “compliant with immigration requirements at all times.”

It’s unknown if Meghan will give up her U.S. citizenship. It’s worth noting the U.S. requires its citizens to pay taxes even if they don’t live in the country.

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