By Sonia Warder – International Contributor
Harry and Meghan have welcomed their new baby daughter, declaring, “She is more than we could have ever imagined”.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced the birth of their second child, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Queen’s 11th great-grandchild was born on June 4 at a hospital in Santa Barbara, California, weighing 7lbs 11oz. Both she and Meghan “are healthy and well”.
Lilibet is the Royal Family’s nickname for the Queen Elizabeth II, given to her as a toddler by her grandfather, King George V. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who died in April this year aged 99, also referred to his wife as Lilibet. The baby’s middle name, Diana, was chosen in honour of the Harry’s mother, the late Princess of Wales, who died in 1997.
Lilibet is pronounced ‘Lily-bet’ although, according to the Sussexes, she will go by the name Lili.
Harry and Meghan posted a message on their website, which said: “On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”
Buckingham Palace issued a statement, which said: “The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news.”
Harry’s father, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall tweeted: “Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie on the arrival of baby Lilibet Diana. Wishing them all well at this special time.”
Harry’s older brother, Prince William and the Duchess and Cambridge said: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili.”
The couple’s two year-old son, Archie, is said to be adjusting well to his little sister’s arrival and, according to a source, there are “no jealousy issues”.
Lili has yet to meet her cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who are the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince Harry (36) and Meghan (39), met on a blind date and married in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. A year later, they welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. In 2020, the couple quit their roles as senior working royals and as a result of the couple’s move to the United States, Lilibet is the most senior royal in the current line of succession to be born overseas.
Before 2013, boys were ahead of girls in the line of royal succession, even if they were younger. But the law was changed ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s (William and Catherine’s) first child to state that age, not gender, would be the deciding factor.
Rules laid out more than 100 years ago state that Lilibet would not be allowed to be a princess, nor an HRH, until Prince Charles becomes king. Along with her brother Archie and most of the Queen’s great-grandchildren, she is not eligible to have a royal title.
In November 2020, Meghan revealed she had a miscarriage several months earlier, writing about her “almost unbearable grief” in a personal article for the New York Times. She said that “despite the staggering commonality of [miscarriages], the conversation remains taboo, riddled with [unwarranted] shame” and went on to commend those who “bravely shared their stories”, saying that “When one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same”.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also announced that they’ll be taking a break from Archewell, the organization which houses their non-profit foundation as well as Archewell Productions, their film and TV production company, and Archewell Audio, their podcast production outlet.