Meghan Markle has undergone a lot of changes recently—a new husband, a new title, a new accent—and it looks like her handwriting has had a few changes as well. Since the Duchess of Sussex’s May 19 wedding, people have noticed that her signature, much like her messy bun, has had a slight makeover. The most recently photographed version is shortened to just her first name, with the Duchess perhaps using her brush with calligraphy to top her name off with a curly capital M and n—a far cry from her barely legible autograph seen earlier this year. The fancy upgrade of her signature made its debut while Meghan was visiting the President of Ireland on July 11, where she signed the visitor’s book at Áras an Uachtaráin.
To find out why Meghan’s handwriting has changed so dramatically since becoming a royal, we spoke to Toronto-based certified graphologist Elaine Charal—and she dished about what the duchess’s new signature says about how she’s changed since gaining her royal title.
Pre-Royal Meghan was more private
On March 23 (i.e. pre-royal wedding), Meghan signed the visitor’s book of the Titanic Belfast maritime museum with a quick scribble. To our handwriting expert, Meghan’s hastened signature says a lot about her preference for living a more private life. “The signature is illegible,” Charal says. “No matter how outgoing Meghan is, she is a more private person who is selective about those she allows close.” Granted, before marrying Prince Harry, Meghan was a successful actress and was no stranger to living in the public eye. But when rumours of her romance with Prince Harry first surfaced in October 2016, her fame sky-rocketed to new heights. The public scrutiny of Meghan and her family became so intense, in fact, that Harry put out a statement telling reporters to back the eff off. Since these two have been together, it seems like—out of necessity—Meghan has become a much more private person, and perhaps that is reflected in her signature from earlier this year.
Charal also explains that the capital ‘M’ sinking below the baseline brings to attention Meghan’s more sensual side. “This, of course, includes attraction to aromas, appetizing food, music, textures,” she says. Well, that explains the duchess’s love of garlicy foods (notably chicken abodo)—something she’s been ordered by the Queen *not* eat.
What her new signature means
Meghan’s new and improved signature made its debut in Ireland, where she signed the Áras an Uachtaráin visitor’s book after visiting President Michael D Higgins. According to Charal, a fancier, more legible “Meghan” means that the duchess is projecting more of a “what you see is what you get” attitude since her marriage. “The initial long stroke before the capital ‘M’ is a form of flair and showmanship,” Charal says—a slight change from her more introverted self. Though, Meghan’s more reserved side still shows through in the “roof-like stroke” over the capital ‘M’. “This is a protection of sorts that shields Meghan from others,” Charal explains.
Charal also says that the needle points at the top of Meghan’s signature indicates “sharp, comprehensive thinking that suggests the duchess can stay three steps ahead of others, and likely communicates best with those who can keep up with her quick mind.” However, there are a few things that haven’t changed about the duchess since her wedding—her determination, her ability to manoeuvre seamlessly around difficult topics and knowing the “right thing to say at the right time.” This is shown in the fluidity of her signature and quick speed of writing, Charal notes.
Why has her autograph changed?
According to Charal, handwriting is a “paper mirror” of our personalities at a given time. “As you change your writing will change,” Charal says, so it makes sense that Meghan’s signature has evolved as she navigates her new role as Duchess of Sussex. Plus, as always, the Queen had a *little* something to do with the new autograph. After becoming a duchess, Meghan had to drop her maiden name from her signature—just like sister-in-law Kate when she married Prince William in 2011.
And for those looking to get in touch with their inner royal, it turns out the answer is to draw inspiration from the duchess’s handwriting. Charal explains that you can channel people’s strengths and personality by mimicking their signature. “You might like to try incorporating some of the dynamic qualities in Meghan Markle’s writing into your own signature, and see how you feel,” she says. “If you adopt the stroke, in a sense you would be ‘taking on Meghan Markle’s cloak’.” Um—yes, please!