Did Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan consult his grandmother the queen before bestowing her childhood nickname, Lilibet, on their new baby daughter?
The couple’s ongoing conflict with the British media and with their critics within Buckingham Palace’s senior courtier corps provoked Harry and Meghan to issue a rare statement on Wednesday insisting – contrary to a report by the BBC – that they did discuss the baby’s name with Queen Elizabeth II before the name was announced.
A spokesperson for the couple told USA TODAY that the queen was supportive when Prince Harry shared the name with her ahead of time and the couple would not have used the name had she objected. The BBC, which has already been the target of Harry’s anger over its “deceitful” and now-undermined 1995 interview with Princess Diana, reported Wednesday that the Sussexes had not consulted Her Majesty, citing a single anonymous palace source.
“The source disputed reports in the wake of the announcement of the name that Prince Harry and Meghan had spoken to the Queen before the birth,” the BBC said. The story remains on the BBC’s website, as does reporter Jonny Dymond’s tweets about it. One of the enduring themes of Harry and Meghan’s relationship dating to 2016 is their growing ire against the British media, especially the tabloids, which they cited as one of the reasons they left the U.K. in 2020 and moved to California. They have accused the media of racism (most recently in their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in March) and filed multiple law suits in the U.K. and in the U.S. alleging abusive intrusions into their private life.
So far, they are winning their legal fights. Meghan recently scored a major victory over the Mail on Sunday when a British judge ruled the paper had invaded her privacy and violated her copyright when it published a private letter she wrote to her estranged father in 2018. Harry and Meghan’s new baby, the second Sussex child and the first great-grandchild of the queen (she now has 11 with a 12th on the way) to be born a U.S. citizen, arrived June 4 in Santa Barbara, where the Sussexes have been living with first child Archie, 2, since last summer.
Harry and Meghan announced on their foundation website that the baby will be called “Lili,” short for Lilibet, which was what the queen called herself when she was a toddler and couldn’t pronounce Elizabeth. It was adopted by her close family, including her grandfather, father and husband, as her nickname growing up. Lili’s other name, Diana, is in honor of her late grandmother, Princess Diana. Like her brother Archie, her last name will be Mountbatten-Windsor. Lili is eighth in line to the throne after her brother and father.
Neither child is entitled to be called prince or princess now but could be once their grandfather, Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, ascends the throne.