Royal expert claims Meghan Markle and Prince Harry named their daughter Lilibet to ‘secure the Sussex brand’ – and reveals why the Queen’s hands were tied on the matter
An Australian royal expert has weighed in on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to use the Queen’s nickname Lilibet for their newborn daughter.
Speaking to The Morning Show on Wednesday, Angela Mollard suggested they did so to ensure the Sussex brand remained connected to the palace, regardless of the status of their royal titles.
Mollard also said the Queen’s hands may have been tied regarding the use of the name, suggesting Harry and Meghan may have ‘complained to Oprah’ if she said ‘no’.
‘Not a great look’: Royal commentator Angela Mollard (left) told Australia’s The Morning Show on Wednesday that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle called their daughter Lilibet to ‘secure the Sussex brand’ and ensure it remained connected to the palace, regardless of the status of their royal titles
‘I imagine they use the name Lilibet to secure the brand, the Sussex brand, to make that connection to the palace,’ she told hosts Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur, suggesting they were using it for strategic reasons in case they lose their titles.
Mollard said she liked the name, but that it was ‘too close’ to the royal family that they have chosen to separate from.
‘It’s a personal name. It’s a name that Philip obviously called Elizabeth. It’s too close,’ she said.
‘But could you imagine – if the Queen had said “no” they could have gone on Oprah and [complained] “yeah she wouldn’t let us use that name”‘.
‘Too close’: Mollard said she liked the name, but that it was ‘too close’ to the royal family that they have chosen to separate from: ‘It’s a personal name. It’s a name that Phillip obviously called Elizabeth’
Mollard admitted that Harry had been fond of the name Lili for a number of years, but said the Duke of Sussex lost the right to use the name by criticising her during the Apple TV+ docuseries The Me You Can’t See last month.
‘When you trounce your grandmother for her poor parenting and then you go and take her name, it’s not a great look,’ she said.
Mollard said the Queen likely feels ‘disheartened’ by the way Harry and Meghan have spoken about her to the media, and that using the name Lilibet is in poor taste.
Hands were tied? Mollard also said the Queen’s hands may have been tied regarding the use of the name, suggesting Harry and Meghan may have ‘complained to Oprah’ during their bombshell interview in March if the Queen had said ‘no’
‘To have [used the name Lilibet] so soon after criticising the monarchy, it just doesn’t fit with me,’ she said.
The Duke and Duchess Sussex plunged the royal family into crisis with their televised Oprah interview in March, during which they accused an unnamed royal of making a racist remark about their son Archie’s skin tone and claimed Harry’s family had failed to help Meghan when she was suicidal.
Last month, Harry also suggested in the Apple TV+ docuseries The Me You Don’t See that his father had allowed his children to ‘suffer’ when it came to the media because of his own negative experience growing up in the Royal Family.
‘It just doesn’t fit with me’: Mollard said the Queen likely feels ‘disheartened’ by the way Harry and Meghan have spoken about her to the media, and that using the name Lilibet is in poor taste
Sweet family nickname for Queen that inspired Harry and Meghan’s name for their baby daughter
Lilibet – the Queen’s family nickname – was first used when Princess Elizabeth was just a toddler and unable to pronounce her own name properly.
Her grandfather King George V would affectionately call her ‘Lilibet’, imitating her own attempts to say Elizabeth.
The sweet nickname stuck and she became Lilibet to her family from then on.
The Duke of Edinburgh also referred to his wife as Lilibet, writing to his mother in law after their wedding: ‘Lilibet is the only ‘thing’ in the world which is absolutely real to me.’
Harry and Meghan’s new baby daughter – the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild – will be known as Lili. A variation on Lily, the flower is often seen to symbolise purity, commitment, rebirth and fertility.
Lili’s middle name Diana honours Harry’s later mother Diana, Princess of Wales. It is no surprise the couple chose to pay tribute to Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997 when Harry was just 12.
Lili has been born almost a month before the princess would have celebrated her 60th birthday on July 1. Her cousin Princess Charlotte also has Diana as one of her middle names, as well as Elizabeth. She is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
Harry and the Duke of Cambridge are due to unveil a statue of their mother at Kensington Palace on her birthday, but the arrangements have yet to be confirmed, amid a long-reported rift between the brothers.
The Sussexes’ tribute to the Queen is likely to be seen as an olive branch to the monarch and the rest of the family.
Pictured: Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California where Lilibet was born. The hospital is a private facility where births cost up to $37,000.
Harry and Meghan plunged the Windsors into crisis with their Oprah Winfrey interview in March when they accused an unnamed royal of making a racist remark about their son Archie’s skin tone before he was born.
They also said the institution failed to help Meghan when she was suicidal. But during the televised interview with Winfrey, the Sussexes lauded the Queen.
Harry spoke of his respect for his grandmother, while Meghan said: ‘The Queen… has always been wonderful to me.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their daughter’s arrival on Sunday.
‘On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili,’ they said.
‘She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.’
Lilibet, who is eighth in line to the throne, was born in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, a private facility where births cost up to $37,000.
Welcome to the world, Lilibet: On Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their daughter’s arrival. ‘On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili,’ they said