Lilibet Diana: Queen 'taken aback' by name says expert
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Meghan Markle, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, are at the centre of conflicting reports around whether or not they asked Queen Elizabeth II, 95, permission before naming their girl Lilibet after her. The Sussexes announced their daughter’s birth on Sunday and explained her name Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was a tribute to her great-grandmother the Queen – whose childhood nickname was ‘Lilibet’ – and her late grandmother Princess Diana.
While sources close to the Sussexes claim the Queen approved their daughter’s name choice, on Wednesday a Palace insider told the BBC the opposite.
The source said Meghan and Harry did not ask the Queen about naming their daughter Lilibet.
Meghan and Harry are no longer working royals and are therefore free from the traditions and protocols applied to members of the monarchy.
While the Sussexes may have had to get the Queen’s approval when it came to naming their first child Archie in 2019, they would have been under no pressure to do so with their daughter.
But unlike Harry, his older brother Prince William, 38, and wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, 39, will have had to go to the Queen ahead of announcing their children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, six and Prince Louis’s, two, names to the world.
William is second in line to the throne and as a future king must abide by royal tradition.
Explaining the process around naming royal babies, one expert claimed it usually happened via “an informal conversation”.
Following the birth of Meghan and Harry’s daughter last Friday, royal commentator Kate Williams told CNN: “The Queen has the power to say what their title is.”
Ms Williams added: “But in the case of names, it is more of an informal conversation.
“Per royal protocol, members of the Royal Family typically share the name they have chosen for their child with the Queen before announcing it.”
She added: “Of course [the royal family] have such respect for the Queen that if she says ‘I really don’t like that name’, they’d definitely take that into account.”
The matter of Harry and Meghan’s name choice for their daughter has sparked fierce debate on social media with many royal experts and commentators commenting on the BBC’s latest report.
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Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams tweeted: “This report from a Palace source to @BBC is very unfortunate.
“It contrasts with the Sussexes claim that the Queen did know.
“This could have been and should have been avoided.
“The Sussexes have a habit of inventing their own truths as we saw on Oprah.”
Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer wrote: “On the one hand, few ask their granny if it’s OK to name their child after her but, on the other, it’s interesting that the Queen and the Sussexes can’t even agree on whether there was a conversation about the name beforehand. ‘Recollections may vary.'”
Daily Mail royal editor Rebecca English tweeted: “This is interesting – not least because the issue has now made a flagship BBC news programme.
“It also confirms what some (incl the Mail) have been saying – there’s a huge difference between being told something is being done and being consulted about it.”
While Daily Mail diary editor Richard Eden wrote: “This is fascinating: the BBC Is reporting on #r4today that Prince Harry and #Meghan DIDN’T ask permission from the Queen to use her family nickname Lilibet for their daughter.
“Palace officials wanted to make that clear. #royal.”
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