When it comes to the Royal Family, a lot of thought goes into a baby name. Usually borrowing from history, nodding to storied ancestors of the past – whether that’s Charles, Henry or Elizabeth – there’s a lot of repetition, with the Duke of Cambridge’s son Prince George having the same middle name as his younger brother’s first name, Prince Louis.
Now, the newest member of the Royal Family has been named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, yet not in the conventional way. Instead, in a rather touching nod, Harry and Meghan’s second child has been called Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – a reference to the family nickname of the Queen. It is all the more poignant considering that the baby girl was due on what would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday this week.
The origins of the name are in the Queen’s childhood, when she was unable to pronounce the name ‘Elizabeth’. Instead, her grandfather, King George V, started to call her ‘Lilibet’ imitating her way of saying her name.
The sweet moniker stuck, with the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, both also known to have called her Lilibet. In a letter that the late Duke wrote to the Queen Mother from his honeymoon, he said: ‘Lilibet is the only “thing” in the world which is absolutely real to me.’
A recent documentary, The Queen and Her Cousins, revealed that some of her friends also called her by the name. The Queen’s goddaughter, Victoria Pryor, the daughter of the Queen’s cousin, Margaret Rhodes, explained: ‘Mummy called her Lilibet but we call her Ma’am.’
It is understood that Harry and Meghan had shared their wishes to name their baby girl after the Queen with the Monarch ahead of the announcement, and that other members of the family also knew.
Meanwhile, Lili’s middle name, Diana, is a nod to Harry’s late mother, and was one of the bookies’ favourites for the new royal baby. It is also one of the middle names of Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Earl Spencer’s daughter, Lady Charlotte Diana Spencer.
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