Archie and Lilibet: Commentator discusses titles
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A royal author thinks it is “beyond belief” Prince Harry could not predict it would “cause trouble” to use the childhood nickname of Queen Elizabeth II to name his daughter. Tom Quinn recalled in his newly-released book Guilded Youth the turmoil sparked by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement their daughter had been named Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana.
While Mr Quinn suggested both Meghan and Harry simply wanted to pay tribute to the record-breaking monarch, he believes the Duke had more insights than his wife that would have allowed him to see the issues coming with the use of the nickname Lilibet.
The author wrote in his book: “[Harry] surely would have known that appropriating the monarch’s beloved childhood nickname would be perceived by many as disrespectful and intrusive in a way that naming their daughter Elizabeth would have not been.”
As recalled by Mr Quinn, some commentators at the time branded the naming of Lilibet a “cynical” attempt by the Sussexes to enhance their “royal currency”, more than one year after they had officially bowed out of the Firm as its working members.
The author went on to recall the late Queen did not publicly share how she interpreted the gesture by the Sussexes.
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He recalled royal biographer Gyles Brandreth claimed Elizabeth II was “touched” by the gesture, but also acknowledged there is the possibility the late monarch may have been left upset by her grandson “laying claim” on a name that had been part of her private life for decades.
However, he added: “It is perhaps more likely that the flunkeys who surround the monarch and some of the starchier older royals were irritated by what they saw as a presumption.”
Nevertheless, Mr Quinn pointed out the issue surrounding Lilibet’s name shows a “fundamental misunderstanding based on differences between American and UK culture”.
He added: “Meghan would never have thought naming her daughter Lilibet was anything other than a huge compliment; in the UK, it looks like an impertinence, and this is emblematic of many of Meghan’s difficulties.”
Lilibet became the late monarch’s childhood nickname reportedly because she as a young child was struggling to say her full name.
The moniker was soon picked up by those closest to the future sovereign, including King George V, King George VI and the Queen Mother.
The late Queen’s father is believed to have once said: “Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy.”
Elizabeth II used the nickname to refer to herself also when she grew up, as shown by a thank you note to her grandmother Queen Mary, which read: “Darling Granny. Thank you very much for the lovely doll’s house. I do love it, and I have unpacked the dining room and the hall. Love from Lilibet xxx.”
In her adult years, Prince Philip was among the royals known to call Elizabeth II still with her childhood and personal nickname.
Lilibet Diana was born on June 4 2021 at a Santa Barbara hospital.
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She got to meet her great-grandmother in June last year, when the Sussexes returned to England to celebrate Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
The meeting was held behind private doors, as was the one between Archie, Lili, King Charles and Queen Camilla.
A source close to Clarence House said a few days later the meeting between the then Prince of Wales and his youngest grandchildren was “very emotional”.
They said: “The Prince, of course, hasn’t seen his grandson Archie for a bit of time and so it was very, very, very special to have some time with him.
“He hadn’t met Lili, his granddaughter, and so to meet her was very emotional, a very, very wonderful thing.”
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