Meghan and Harry announce birth of baby daughter Lilibet

By Jessica Murray

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced the birth of a daughter they have named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

Harry and Meghan’s daughter, who was born in hospital in California on Friday, weighed 7lb 11oz (3.4kg) and has been named after the family nickname for the Queen, the baby’s great-grandmother. Her middle name was chosen to honour her late grandmother Diana, Princess of Wales, the couple said. The baby is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild and is eighth in line to the throne.

Both mother and child were healthy and well, a statement said, and Lilibet – a younger sister for two-year-old Archie – was “settling in at home” after her birth at Santa Barbara Cottage hospital.

In a statement published on the website of Archewell, the non-profit organisation launched by the couple last year, they said: “On 4 June, 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. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”

Prince William and Kate’s official Twitter account posted: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie.”

The Sussexes revealed they were expecting a baby girl during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, during which they also spoke candidly about their rift with the rest of the royal family. Meghan said concerns had been raised by the family before Archie’s birth about how dark his skin would be and said the palace failed to help when she was feeling suicidal.

The Queen responded by saying the issues were taken “very seriously” but that “some recollections may vary” and the matter would be addressed by the family privately.

The then Princess Elizabeth waves from a carriage in London in 1928
The then Princess Elizabeth waves from a carriage in London in 1928. Photograph: PA

The Queen’s Lilibet nickname was coined when the then Princess Elizabeth was a toddler and struggled to pronounce her name properly. The Duke of Edinburgh also called her by the nickname.

Lilibet is the most senior royal in the current line of succession to be born overseas – and would be eligible to become US president. Like her older brother, Archie, who was not permitted a royal title when he was born in 2019, the Sussexes’ daughter is not permitted to be a princess nor have the title HRH, as they are too far removed from the crown under rules set down more than 100 years ago.

The new baby will be entitled to be a princess and Archie a prince, both with HRH styles, after the death of the Queen and when Prince Charles, Harry’s father, becomes king.

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, tweeted: “Many congratulations to The Duke & Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their daughter.” The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, also offered his congratulations and said the announcement was “wonderful news”.

Tessy Ojo, the chief executive of the Diana Award, set up to continue the legacy of Harry’s mother, said the charity was “delighted to welcome another grandchild of Diana, Princess of Wales”.

The couple have paid tribute to Diana throughout their relationship. They announced they were expecting a second child on Valentine’s Day, almost exactly 37 years after Diana announced she was expecting Harry, on 13 February 1984.

The photographer Misan Harriman, who took the black and white photos used to announce Meghan’s pregnancy, tweeted: “Lilibet has arrived! Congratulations to my brave friend and her lovely family!”

Lilibet’s birth comes after Meghan revealed she had a miscarriage in the summer of 2020. In an article for the New York Times in November, she wrote: “I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”

The couple announced they were stepping back from royal duties in January 2020 and now live in Montecito, near Santa Barbara in southern California.

Anyone wishing to send a present to celebrate Lilibet’s birth has been asked to support organisations working for women and girls. A message on the Archewell website reads: “For those inquiring on sending gifts, we would ask that you support or learn more about these organisations working for women and girls: Girls Inc., Harvest Home, Camfed or Myna Mahila Foundation.”