The secret sign in Meghan Markle's birthday notes from the Queen, Kate & Will which mean Duchess title looks set to stay

MEGHAN Markle turns 40 today, and the Queen, Kate Middleton and Prince William have sent their well-wishes on Instagram.

But did you spot the secret sign in their birthday posts that hints that Meghan’s Duchess of Sussex title is set to stay after she stepped back as a senior royal?

Behavioural and media psychologist Jo Hemmings pointed out that in all the messages, Meghan is still referred to using her title.

Speaking to Fabulous, Jo said: “Interesting that they all still refer to Meghan as The Duchess of Sussex, which makes it feel like that title isn’t going to be removed any time soon.”

Both Meghan and Harry gave up the titles His and Her Royal Highness after Megxit, although Harry is still sixth in line to the throne and remains a prince.

The couple also agreed to stop using the word 'royal' in their commercial and charitable ventures.

But the couple remain the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – titles given to them as a wedding gift in 2018.

🔵 Read our Meghan and Harry live blog for the latest updates

Differences over the years

Jo looked back at the royal social posts from Meghan’s 39th, 38th and 37th birthdays, and said: “This year’s post is in keeping with the dignity and composure that the Royal Family have shown throughout, remaining publicly neutral.

“Most of the mood shift does seem to be in the images, rather than the words themselves.”

Editor-in-Chief of Majesty Magazine Ingrid Seward told Fabulous: "The royals always celebrate decade birthdays and I am certain the Queen will have told her staff to ‘treat the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with kid gloves’ as she once did with Diana.

"She would not wish to do anything that could be interpreted as a slight and that applies to the rest of the family who tweeted birthday wishes."

Repeat in photos is "not a coincidence"

Interestingly, the image of the Queen and Meghan in Her Majesty’s post this year is the very same image that was posted on her 39th birthday last year.

Jo continued: “I don’t think it is any coincidence.

“I don’t imagine that is simply down to lack of effort or laziness, more suggesting perhaps that the Palace is reiterating the point that it’s how life used to be and it hasn’t moved in a positive direction from last year. 

“Perhaps that point can be seen more clearly when we note that on her 37th birthday, the Palace used a rather close, happy image of the Queen and Meghan sitting next to each other, from that year, really significantly from the exact same set of images used on her 39th and her 40th birthday.”

However, Ingrid added: "The tweets posted are almost certainly done by a member of office staff.

"They all employ people to do their social media as it is so much a part of modern communication. They would also pick the photographs to go with them."

Meghan shown on her own

In William, Kate, Charles and Camilla’s posts this year, they all chose to show portraits of Meghan on her own. 

Jo added: “While they are stunning pictures, they do hint at a sense of them no longer considering that she is part of the extended family.

“The Cambridge’s message is again also very similar to this years, but they have chosen to show Meghan in a softer, more compassionate pose with a child last year, while this year she is very much on her own.”

Meghan's plans

The Duchess of Sussex is believed to be marking the milestone day in the US – although how she is celebrating has been kept under wraps.

The big day marks Meghan's first birthday since quitting the Royal Family for good in March – and comes just two months after she gave birth to baby Lilibet.

Unnamed sources told Page Six in New York that as a result, the Sussexes had been planning to spend the day with just their immediate family.

And despite reports to the contrary, the royal couple don't intend on celebrating Meghan's milestone 40th with a big party, the sources claimed.

Ingrid added: "Privately the Queen will speak to Meghan on the phone from Scotland later in the day to wish her a happy birthday as will Prince Charles and possibly William and Kate.

"Imagine how Meghan would feel if she heard nothing. She would take it as a massive slight."

Previously, we shared how Meghan ‘could be whisked away for 40th birthday getaway by Prince Harry’ to spend quiet celebrations with kids.

Unnamed sources said that Prince Harry might take her from their Montecito, California, mansion on an intimate getaway.

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