Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s spokesperson says Queen Elizabeth was ‘supportive’ of Lilibet’s name
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s chosen name for their newborn has been stirring some controversy.
Not long after the couple’s daughter Lilibet was born on Friday, a Buckingham Palace source alleged to the BBC that the Duke of Sussex didn’t consult his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, for permission to use her private family nickname.
But on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex denied the source’s claim.
“The Duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement, in fact, his grandmother was the first family member he called,” the spokesperson told People magazine in a statement. “During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honor. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name.”
According to the outlet, the name Lilibet was used by the reigning monarch’s father King George VI. He once said of his two daughters: “Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy.”
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry attend the annual Chelsea Flower show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 18, 2015, in London, England.
(Photo by Julian Simmonds – WPA Pool / Getty Images)
The nickname has been used by other family members, including the 95-year-old’s late husband, Prince Philip. It is believed that her elderly cousins, like Princess Alexandra, still use the name.
Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor pays tribute to both Harry’s grandmother, as well as his late mother, Princess Diana.
The outlet shared that the queen was also introduced to her namesake via a video call.
“[The Duke and Duchess of Sussex] were very excited and couldn’t wait to share that their daughter arrived,” a source told the outlet, adding that the couple made the introduction as soon as they returned home from the hospital.
The baby girl was born at 11:40 a.m. at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, and weighed in at 7 lbs, 11 oz, a spokesperson for the couple said. The child is eighth in line to the British throne.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first born, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was born in 2019.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the queen; Harry’s father, Prince Charles; his brother, Prince William; and other members of the family had been informed and are “delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
No photos of the newborn or the Sussexes accompanied the announcement. The couple has said that in lieu of gifts, they request those interested learn about or support nonprofit organizations working for women and girls, including Girls Inc., Harvest Home, CAMFED or Myna Mahila Foundation.
“Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family,” the couple wrote in a statement that accompanied the birth announcement Sunday.
The baby is “more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe,” they continued.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex currently reside in California with their growing family.
The birth of the healthy baby girl opens a happy chapter for the couple following a miscarriage in July 2020. Markle, 39, gave a personal account of that traumatic experience in hope of helping others.
Months before the miscarriage, the couple announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They live in Montecito, an upscale area near Santa Barbara, California.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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