Royal family members say they are “delighted” for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who are “settling in” at home in California with their newborn daughter.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed the birth of their second child, a baby girl named after the Queen and Princess Diana.
The couple welcomed Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, a spokesperson said on Monday morning (Australian time).
“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 in a statement issued along with the announcement.
“Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”
Buckingham Palace said the Queen and other senior royals “have been informed and are delighted with the news”.
Prince William and Kate Middleton wrote on Twitter: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie.”
Prince Charles and wife Camila wrote: “Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie on the arrival of baby Lilibet Diana. Wishing them all well at this special time.”
Invictus Games Foundation, an international sporting event for wounded and sick service people and veterans that was founded by Prince Harry, tweeted “Congratulations to our Patron The Duke of Sussex and to the Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their second child! Welcome to the #InvictusFamily Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor!”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also posted to Twitter: “Many congratulations to The Duke & Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their daughter.”
Baby named in honour of matriarch
Meghan gave birth to Lilibet on June 4 at 11.40am (California time), with Prince Harry by her side.
The little girl weighs about 3.5 kilograms and is “settling in at home” after Harry and Meghan returned to their home in Montecito.
The newborn’s first name, Lilibet, is a nod to a nickname for her great-grandmother, the Queen.
The Queen used to call herself Lilibet when she was too young to pronounce her own name.
Lilibet’s middle name, Diana, honours her “beloved late grandmother”.
The baby is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild and is eighth in line to the British throne.
Lilibet’s birth moves Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son who was born second in line in 1960, down to ninth place.
The first seven places remain unchanged: Prince Charles; Prince William; William’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis; and Harry and Meghan’s firstborn, Archie.
Archie becomes a big brother
In February, Harry and Meghan confirmed they were preparing to welcome a sister for their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
The couple married at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and their son was born a year later.
Meghan revealed that she had a miscarriage in July 2020, giving a personal account of the traumatic experience in hope of helping others.
Months earlier, the couple 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 Montecito, an upscale area near Santa Barbara, California.
In March this year, they gave an explosive TV interview to Oprah Winfrey, describing painful comments about how dark Archie’s skin might be before his birth. Meghan also talked about the intense isolation she felt inside the royal family that led her to contemplate suicide.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately.
In the Winfrey interview, Meghan also talked about the fact that her son was not given the title of prince. Harry said 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 the money his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, left him.
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.