Meghan Markle and Prince Harry offer ‘major olive branch’ – but expert warns ‘damage done’

Lilibet Diana: Photo 'should be released' says expert

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Meghan and Prince Harry named their daughter after the Queen by using the moniker only people closest to the monarch, including her parents, sister and Prince Philip, used to call her. This move could be seen as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s desire to build bridges with the Royal Family after months of tensions, according to various royal commentators. 

Royal author Duncan Larcombe described Lilibet as “the most royal of names” before saying this choice may be considered as an olive branch from the Sussexes.

He told Fabolous Digital: “By choosing the childhood name of the Queen, Harry and Meghan have given their daughter the most royal of names.

“To many, such a specific nod to Her Majesty will be seen as the first major olive branch offered by the Sussexes since Megxit.

“A sign perhaps Harry and Meghan are eager to build bridges.” 

However, he continued, over the past year, the Duke and Duchess have made some damaging claims which widened their rift with the Firm.

He explained: “The question really is are there and bridges left to build?

“The damage is done, and it’s sadly going to take a lot more from the Sussexes before any healing of the feud can begin.”

Arthur Edwards, who has been a royal photographer for decades, believes the name chosen for the Sussexes’ daughter could have a beneficial effect on their relationship with the Royal Family. 

He wrote in the Sun: “By naming their little girl Lilibet will please the monarch because the name will not now be lost forever when she is no longer here.

“Also, it may help to mend the relationship and build bridges between Harry and the rest of the Royal Family.

“But one thing is for sure it is a name people will never forget.”

Another royal commentator, author Phil Dampier, said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may be “trying to undo some of the damage” made by their recent remarks against the Firm. 

Speaking to the Sun, he added: “Lilibet is such a personal name to the Queen you would hope they gave the palace the heads-up.

“I suspect Harry and Meghan have realised they’ve overdone their criticism in recent months and the penny has dropped that they’ve caused deep hurt to Harry’s gran and other family members.”

Meghan and Prince Harry officially stepped down as full-time working royals at the end of March last year.

One year later, their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey was released, lifting the lid on their relationship with several senior royals and the palace. 

During the interview, Meghan and Harry raised damaging allegations of racism and neglect.

The Duke of Sussex also said he felt “let down” by Prince Charles and confessed his relationship with Prince William was one of “space” at the moment.

Two months later, the Duke of Sussex went on to speak about his life as a member of the Royal Family and his mental health during an episode of the podcast Armchair Expert.

Chatting to hosts Monica Padman and Dax Shepard, he compared his royal life to a mix between “the Truman Show and being in a zoo”.

Harry also appeared to criticise how Prince Charles brought him up, saying as a parent of Archie – and now Lilibet – he aims at breaking the cycle of pain he himself had experienced growing up. 

Harry went on to speak about his upbringing, the grief he was left with following Princess Diana’s death and the lack of support he said he received from the Royal Family in the docu-series he produced with Oprah – The Me You Can’t See.

During the five-episode-long show focused on mental health, Prince Harry accused the Firm of “total neglect” when he asked for help in the wake of intense online abuse he and Meghan were experiencing.

Among other issues he touched upon, he also revealed he turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with his intense panic attacks and anxiety.

And he said the Duchess of Sussex was pivotal in his decision to seek the help of a therapist.  

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