Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, announced on Sunday “with immense joy” the birth of their second child, Lilibet “Lili” Diana, so named in tribute to the Princess of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II, who said she was “delighted” with this announcement.
Born Friday morning in a hospital in Santa Barbara, California (United States), Lilibet weighs nearly 3.5 kilos and is in eighth place in the order of succession to the British crown.
It was named in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex explain in a statement.
Her middle name, “Diana”, pays homage to Prince Harry’s mother, who died in a car accident in Paris in 1997, while her driver was trying to escape the paparazzi.
The youngest son of Prince Charles and Diana was then 12 years old. He has since confided in the deep trauma caused by the death of “Lady Di” and her previous sufferings, saying that he felt, as a child, “powerless” to protect her.
After stormy months since Harry and Meghan stepped back from the royal family, followed by recent shocking statements, their loved ones have rejoiced at the good news.
The British Sovereign, her son Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, as well as Prince William and his wife, Kate, “have been informed and are delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, ”said a spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace.
Prince Charles and his wife also tweeted their congratulations, along with a photo of Harry, Meghan and their first son, Archie, aged two.
“We send our best wishes to all of them at this special time,” they wrote.
Prince William and Kate Middleton also said they were “delighted” on Twitter.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent “congratulations” to the couple, joined by Labor Party leader Keir Starmer, who hailed “extraordinary news”.
“We are grateful for the love and thoughts we have received from all over the world,” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote.
Meghan Markle and her daughter “are in good health”, according to their press release. “She is more than anything we could have imagined.”
A message posted on the website of their Archewell Foundation indicates that the couple are on parental leave, and that gifts in the form of donations can be sent to charities working in particular in favor of the education of girls.
Lilibet is the 11e Elizabeth II’s great-grandchild, said the royal family. She dislodged Prince Andrew, descended to 9e rank in the order of succession after birth.
Withdrawal of the royal family
Prince Harry, 36, sixth in the order of succession, and Meghan Markle, a 39-year-old former American actress, effectively retired from the royal family in April 2020.
Denouncing the media pressure on their couple, they moved to California, where they started a podcast, launched other projects with content platforms, including Netflix, and created a foundation, Archwell, to work for humanitarian causes.
Harry and Meghan also gave a shock interview to TV host Oprah Winfrey in March, in which, among other explosive revelations, they reported that an unnamed member of the royal family was concerned about the color of skin that their son Archie would have, before his birth, his mother being mixed race.
The statement had cast a chill between the couple and the rest of the royal family, with Prince William being pressured to react and to launch: “We are not a racist family at all.”
The queen said she was “saddened” by the difficulties experienced by the couple, claiming to take “very seriously” accusations of racism while wishing to treat them “in private”.
Harry has since been able to speak with his brother, his father as well as, in a separate video call, with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, before the latter’s death, he told host James Corden.
The Queen and Prince Philip were then able to admire their great-grandson Archie via an interposed screen.
Monday morning, the British press welcomed the birth of “our little Lilibet Diana”. “Welcome to Lilibet from California!” Exclaims the Times, wondering in the front page “Will a new baby mend the fracture?”