The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have declared the birth of a daughter they have named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

Harry and Meghan’s daughter, who was born in a hospital in California on Friday, weighed 7lb 11oz (3.4kg) and has been named after the family nickname for the Queen, the baby’s great-grandmother. Her middle name was chosen to honor her late grandmother Diana, Princess of Wales, the couple said. The baby is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild and is eighth in line to the throne.

Queen Elizabeth II was nicknamed Lilibet by her grandfather King George V
Queen Elizabeth II was nicknamed Lilibet by her grandfather King George V

Both mother and child were healthful and well, a statement said, and Lilibet – a younger sister for two-year-old Archie – was “settling in at home” after her birth at Santa Barbara Cottage hospital.

In an affidavit published on the website of Archewell, the non-profit organization launched by the couple last year, they said: “On 4 June, we were blessed with the influx of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we endure thankful for the love and Plea we’ve felt from across the world. Thank you for your reached benevolence and support during this very special time for our family.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are enchanted with the news of the birth of a daughter for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”

Prince William and Kate’s official Twitter account posted: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan, and Archie.”

The Sussexes acknowledged they were expecting a baby girl during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, during which they also spoke candidly about their flaw with the rest of the royal family. Meghan said concerns had been heightened by the family before Archie’s birth about how dark his skin would be and said the palace declined to help when she was feeling lethal.

The Queen acknowledged by saying the issues were taken “very seriously” but that “some memory may vary” and the thing would be addressed by the family privately.

The Queen’s Lilibet nickname was coined when the then Princess Elizabeth was a toddler and strived to pronounce her name properly. The Duke of Edinburgh also called her by the nickname.

Lilibet is the most senior royal in the current line of succession to be born overseas – and would be acceptable to become US president. Like her older brother, Archie, who has not approved a royal title when he was born in 2019, the Sussexes’ daughter is not permitted to be a princess nor have the title HRH, as they are too far removed from the crown under rules set down more than 100 years ago.

The new baby will be entitled to be a princess and Archie a prince, both with HRH styles, after the death of the Queen and when Prince Charles, Harry’s father, becomes king.

 

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, tweeted: “Many congratulations to The Duke & Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their daughter.” The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, also award his congratulations and said the announcement was “wonderful news”.

Tessy Ojo, the chief executive of the Diana Award, set up to continue the legacy of Harry’s mother, said the charity was “delighted to welcome another grandchild of Diana, Princess of Wales”.

The couple has paid tribute to Diana throughout their relationship. They announced they were expecting a second child on Valentine’s Day, almost exactly 37 years after Diana announced she was expecting Harry, on 13 February 1984.

The photographer Misan Harriman, who took the black and white photos used to announce Meghan’s pregnancy, tweeted: “Lilibet has arrived! Congratulations to my brave friend and her lovely family!”

 

Lilibet’s birth comes after Meghan divulges she had a miscarriage in the summer of 2020. In an article for the New York Times in November, she wrote: “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”

The couple announced they were walking back from royal duties in January 2020 and now live in Montecito, near Santa Barbara in southern California.

Anyone wishing to send a present to celebrate Lilibet’s birth has been asked to support institutions working for women and girls. A message on the Archewell website reads: “For those inquiring on sending gifts, we would ask that you support or learn more about these organizations working for women and girls: Girls Inc., Harvest Home, Camfed or Myna Mahila Foundation.”

Lili's middle name is a tribute to Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana
Lili’s middle name is a tribute to Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana

 

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