The palace made the announcement just hours before the couple are due to get married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor this afternoon.
The Queen’s announcement means that Markle will become the first ever Duchess of Sussex after she marries Prince Harry.
Prince Harry was also given Scottish and Northern Irish titles, becoming the Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
The palace said in a statement:
“The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
“Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.”
The title of Duke of Sussex was last held by King George III’s sixth son Prince Augustus Frederick, who was born in 1773. The title is an historic choice for the royal family, as Markle will become the first Duchess of Sussex.
“There has not been a previous Duchess of Sussex as neither of the marriages of Prince Augustus Frederick, on whom the title was conferred in 1801, were recognised,” said Lucy Hume, the associate director of Debrett’s, which has published 150 volumes of the peerage.
The last Duke of Sussex died in 1843 at the aged of 70. Although he married twice, his father did not approve of the matches and so his children were not considered legitimate heirs to the title.
Reaction on social media was widely celebratory:
Some pointed out the new titles weren’t necessarily the easiest to pronounce:
And let’s not overlook the excellent Scottish and Northern Irish titles:
Other vacant dukedoms the Queen could have chosen from included Windsor, Clarence, Connaught and Cumberland.
Tens of thousands of spectators are gathering in Windsor today, many having slept there overnight, for the royal wedding, which will be broadcast to millions worldwide.