The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have continued to publicly lash out at the British royal family since announcing they were stepping down from official duties last year. But in a sign they might finally be ready to put the rift behind them, Prince Harry has honoured his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, by giving her nickname to his daughter.
Harry, 36, and wife Meghan Markle, 39, recently welcomed their sweet girl, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, who will be known as “Lili” at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. “On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili,” the proud new parents gushed in a statement they shared on their Archewell website. “She is more than we could have ever imagined,” the pair added.
The newborn was given the family nickname of her great-grandmother, Lilibet. As a toddler, the then-princess struggled to say “Elizabeth” and the mispronunciation stuck. The term of endearment is particularly meaningful as it’s what her late husband Prince Philip called her before he passed away aged 99 on April 9, following a 73-year marriage.
The use of the surprisingly intimate name – which even Prince Charles, 72, isn’t allowed to call his mother by – has raised a few eyebrows. Some reports have suggested that while Harry sought the Queen’s blessing to use her name via a Zoom call, he didn’t formally ask for permission as per usual royal protocols. “Harry and Meghan could have paid the Queen a far more dignified tribute by calling their daughter her great-grandmother’s proper name, Elizabeth,” the Queen’s biographer Sally Bedell Smith told Vanity Fair magazine. “I expect the choice hasn’t gone down well in royal circles,” she added.
Harry also honoured his late mother, Princess Diana, by including her given name in the newborn’s moniker. “For Harry these are two very meaningful names,” a friend of the prince told Vanity Fair.
Lili – who is eighth in line to the British throne – wasn’t born with a royal title, just like her older brother Archie, 2, due to protocols established by King George V in 1917. However, both children will automatically become a prince and a princess when their grandfather, the Prince of Wales, ascends to the throne following the Queen’s death.
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