There have been a lot of reports over whether Prince Harry asked the Queen about “Lilibet.” Some claim that the Duke of Sussex did ask Queen Elizabeth II for her blessing to name his daughter with Meghan Markle after her family nickname.
However, there are some reports that claim that Harry didn’t ask the Queen for her permission and took the British royal family by surprise when he and Meghan announced that “Lilibet” would be the name of their second child. So what’s the truth? Well, according to a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex himself, he did, in fact, ask the Queen about “Lilibet” before he and Meghan made their daughter’s name official.
“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 BBC on Wednesday, June 9. “During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honour. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name.”
Harry’s comment comes after a Buckingham Palace source told BBC that the “Queen was not asked by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about naming their daughter Lilibet.” The source also disputes claims that Harry and Meghan talked to the Queen before Lilibeth’s birth.
“BREAKING Palace source tells BBC that the Queen was not asked by Meghan and Harry over the use of her childhood nickname; reports suggested Harry had sought permission from Queen to call newborn ‘Lilibet’; but Palace source says the Queen was ‘never asked’” BBC reporter Jonny Dymond tweeted on Wednesday.
The Queen, for her part, congratulated Meghan and Harry on the birth of Lilibet—whose full name is Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor—in an Instagram post on June 6, the day the Sussexes announced the birth of their daughter.
“Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of Lilibet Diana!” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Instagram. “The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted with the news. Lilibet is Her Majesty’s 11th great-grandchild.”
A source told In Touch on Sunday that the Queen was one of the first people Harry and Meghan, who also share 2-year-old son Archie Harrison, told about Lilibet’s birth. “The queen was one of the first people Harry and Meghan told about the birth and they’ve sent her photos,” the insider said. “She has put the drama from the interviews aside and is overjoyed to be a great-grandmother again.”
In a statement on June 6, Harry and Meghan confirmed that Lilibet’s name was inspired by both the Queen and Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana. “Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home. Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet,” the statement continued. “Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales. This is the second child for the couple, who also have a two-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.”
Though the Queen seems to be fine with her nickname inspiring Lilibet’s name, some critics weren’t fans. Royal expert Angela Levin told Good Morning Britain on Monday, June 7, that the decision was “rude” because “Lilibet” is a private nickname given to the Queen by her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April. “I don’t think it’s a good idea — I think it’s quite rude to Her Majesty Her Queen. It was a very private nickname from her husband, who hasn’t been dead for very long,” Levin said. “Prince Charles would never dream of calling his mother Lilibet.”
She continued, “We knew what it was but it was his name—[Philip] wanted that name for her, it was a special name, I think it’s quite demeaning, I really believe that.”
The nickname “Lilibet” dates back to the Queen’s childhood when she was too young to pronounce her own name, calling herself “Lilibet” instead. Her parents and grandparents adopted “Lilibet” as the Queen’s nickname, as well as Philip. “Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy,” the Queen’s father, King George VI, once said.
On Good Morning Britain, Levin claimed that Harry “did mention to his grandmother” that he was going to name his daughter after her “but I bet you he didn’t say, ‘I’m going choose Lilibet.’” However, a source for Page Six, denied Levin’s assertion on Monday, claiming that Harry, in fact, did ask the Queen for her permission to name his daughter Lilibet.
“To say the Queen would be unhappy is frankly ridiculous. It’s a bit of a nod to Meghan’s mother, Doria, as well. Her nickname for Meghan is flower,” journalist Afua Adom said on Good Morning Britain. “It’s also a bit of a stretch to say that the Queen is fuming that her great grandchild is named after her. I think it’s a nod of affection.”
For more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s time in the British royal family, read Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s New York Times bestseller, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. The book tells all on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship, from how they met to their wedding to the birth of their son, Archie. Finding Freedom also dives into the “true story” of why Harry and Meghan left the royals at the end of 2019 and moved to the United States amid their secret drama with their family. Consisting of interviews and accounts with Harry and Meghan’s closest confidants, Finding Freedom is a must-read for any royal follower.
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