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Prince Harry told the Queen of his wish to name a daughter after her years before he met wife Meghan.
The Duke of Sussex informed his beloved grandmother of his desire to use her name – or at least part of it – when discussing his future family life, well-placed sources have confirmed.
Harry’s decision, along with his wife Meghan to call their newborn daughter Lilibet – who will be known as Lili – after the Queen’s affectionate nickname she was given by her grandfather George V as a child after she had trouble pronouncing Elizabeth, has left the monarch “delighted”.
The little girl, the couple’s second child and little sister to their two-year-old son Archie, was born on Friday June 4 at 11.40am at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California.
The Queen was said to be 'delighted' with the news of Lilibet's arrival
(Image: Getty Images)
Palace insiders hope the joyous news will “go a long way” to start to help heal the fractured relationship between the Duke and his family, after he has spent the last few months accusing the family of racism and abandonment in television interviews after quitting royal life and setting up home in the US.
A royal source said: “Harry has always enjoyed a wonderful bond with his grandmother, which makes it all the more bizarre that he has gone out of his way to threaten the relationship over the last couple of years.
“They have been incredibly close and as you would imagine have shared some very deep and personal conversations as Harry was growing up, which carried on really until very recently.
Archie 'very happy to have little sister' after Meghan and Harry's new arrival
“Harry has never made a secret of his wish to have a family of his own, often talking about how it would be great to have a boy and a girl, that he could name after the two most important women in his life, the Queen and his mother.
“He had toyed with the idea of giving a future daughter his mother’s name, but was wary of the attention it would no doubt bring to the little girl.
The Queen and Philip meet Harry's first child, back in 2019
“In the end, he mentioned Lilibet to Meghan, when discussing potential names for their children and she loved the idea.
“It’s a fitting tribute to the Queen and something many people will hope brings the family closer together.”
Meghan and baby Lili Diana are understood to be “doing very well” as they settle into life as a family of four.
Meghan and Harry said it was a “very special time” and described the baby girl as “more than we could have ever imagined”.
Little Lili has been given the middle name of Diana, in tribute to her late grandmother and Harry’s beloved mum who tragically died in 1997, in a road traffic accident in Paris.
Welcome to the world, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – pity about the name, though
The monarch, who has several grandchildren and great grandchildren who carry her name Elizabeth as their middle names – including William and Kate’s daughter Charlotte who has the middle names Elizabeth Diana – is said to have thought the tribute to both her and Harry’s mother was a “lovely idea”.
Sources have confirmed that Harry and Meghan did not seek formal permission from the Queen to use the nickname, but they did inform her in private prior to announcing her arrival to the world.
The nickname Lilibet was also one of the affectionate names the late Duke of Edinburgh used for his wife of 73 years – another one being Cabbage.
The Queen signed Lilibet on the card she left on top of Prince Philip ’s coffin before he was laid to rest in April.
The news of Lili’s arrival has cleared the way for Harry to attend the July 1 unveiling of a new statue of his mother, Princess Diana at Kensington Palace.
It is hoped the newborn will 'go a long way' in repairing fractured relations between the Sussexes and the rest of the family
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex, 36, will accompany his brother Prince William, 38, as they stand shoulder to shoulder to unveil the exhibit they have been working on and designing since 2017.
A plinth for the statue has already been laid within the Sunken Garden,
Diana’s favourite spot in the grounds of the royal residence.
In 2017 the spot was transformed into a beautiful tribute to Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death, featuring a display of her favorite flowers,
like forget-me-nots, white lilies, white roses, tulips, narcissi, and daisies.
Kensington Palace’s head gardener, Sean Harkin, said the color scheme was a nod to Diana’s love of whites and creams in her own personal style.
Two-year-old Archie was joined by sister Lilibet on Friday
At the time the brothers, whose own relationship continues to be “immensely strained” after Harry labelled Willam and their father Charles as being “trapped” in the system of monarchy, suggesting they too would leave like he did if they could, released a joint statement on their hopes for the tribute.
They said: “It has been 20 years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue.
“Our mother touched so many lives.
“We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.”
The Duchess of Cambridge had been prepared to step in to be by her husband’s side if Harry could not make it due to the imminent arrival of his second child with wife Meghan, but the Stateside royal has confirmed to aides he will be attending the ceremony.
Harry will be required to produce a negative covid test before he arrives and take two more when in the UK.
He may be forced to quarantine for 10 days at his Frogmore Cottage home in the grounds of the Windsor estate, just as he did when he returned for Prince Philip’s funeral in April, but could release himself from quarantine if he produces a negative test on day 5.
A source said: “Harry has said he will do his utmost to be there. He wants to put on a united front with William and pay an appropriate tribute to their mother.”