The second baby for US-based Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is here, a healthy baby girl born four days ago in a Santa Barbara hospital in California.
Named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – a nod to the nickname for her great-grandmother, the Queen, and her grandmother and Harry’s mother – their 3.4-kilogram daughter was born on June 4.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are thrilled.
“On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. 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,” the couple wrote on their official website Archewell.
In lieu of gifts for their second child, Harry, 36, and former Suits actress Meghan, 39, have asked well-wishers to “learn about or support” four non-profit women’s charities.
They listed Girls Inc, Harvest Home, CAMFED and the Myna Mahila Foundation as their preferred go-to charities.
No photos of the newborn or the Sussexes accompanied the announcement, released on Monday morning (AEST).
The couple, who met in 2016 on a blind date in London, married at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born a year later in Portland Hospital in London on May 6.
What baby Lili has that big brother Archie doesn’t
Lili’s birth at 11.40am last Friday at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, makes her the most senior royal in the immediate line of succession to be born overseas.
CNN pointed out Lili’s birth gives her dual US-British citizenship – she would be able to run for US president while also being in line to the British throne.
The customary statements of congratulations came from Buckingham Palace and from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“we are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili”), while Meghan’s estranged father Thomas Markle also sent a message of congratulations.
“I’m very pleased that my daughter and my new granddaughter had a successful delivery. I wish them all my love and the best of luck,” he told the Sun Online.
Meghan and Harry spoke publicly only a handful of times during her second pregnancy, one in a pre-recorded message for the Vax Live concert in May.
“My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter – it’s a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world,” the duchess told the audience.
“When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward,” she said.
“Their future leadership depends on the decisions we make, and the actions we take now to set them up, and set all of us up, for a successful, equitable, and compassionate tomorrow.”
The couple also gave an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey in March, where they revealed their baby’s gender – “it’s a girl” – with the duke adding that their family would be complete with her birth.
“Now we’ve got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs.”
They also recounted the now-infamous comments about how dark Archie’s skin might be before his birth.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately.
Meghan also discussed her son not being titled as a prince. Lili will also have no royal title, despite being eighth in line to the British throne.
Harry told Winfrey the royal family cut him off financially after he announced plans to step back from his roles – and that he was able to afford security for his family because of money willed to him by his mother, Diana.
In a New York Times opinion piece “The losses we share” in November 2020, Meghan revealed that she had a miscarriage last year, giving a personal account of the traumatic experience.
Months earlier, the Sussexes had announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.
They live in a private gated community in Montecito, an upscale area near Santa Barbara, California. Their neighbours include actors, celebrities and tech billionaires.
Winfrey and Harry have recently collaborated on mental illness on the Apple TV+ mental health series The Me You Can’t See.
Despite leaving royal duties, Harry’s place in the order of succession to the throne remains.
The first seven places remain unchanged: Prince Charles, Prince William, William’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis; Prince Harry, and his son Archie.