Lilibet for President: Sussex newborn caught in name controversy

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have welcomed their second child, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, but the new baby Sussex is a little different from the last.

Baby Lilibet arrived on Friday, June 4, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, close to where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex live.

And while other members of the royal family are busy congratulating the brood on their latest addition, others are wondering which special considerations will apply to the new baby – and why they chose that name.

Like big brother Archie, 2, baby Lilibet will have dual citizenship between Britain and the US.

Lili isn’t the first royal to be born on US soil, but she is by far the closest in line to the throne.

She could therefore be eligible to run for President while being eighth in line – a move many have encouraged her mother to consider. 

The only other royal to be born in the US is Maud Windsor, 7, the daughter of Prince Harry’s distant cousin Lord Frederick Windsor.

Maud is 52nd in line to the throne.

Although Archie was born in Britain in May 2019, he lives in the US and has an American mother, making him eligible for passports for both countries.

Same, same, but different

The circumstances surrounding the Sussexes’ royal status are vastly different for Lilibet’s birth, compared to Archie’s.

At the time of Archie’s birth, Harry and Meghan were still senior royals, so many aspects of the birth were controlled, according to tradition, by the palace.

This included the birth announcement, which was made by Buckingham Palace.

As the Sussexes have stepped down as senior royals, news of Lili’s birth was kept under wraps until Sunday – two days after she was born.

Harry and Meghan made the announcement themselves this time, and weren’t subjected to the same first photo fanfare that surrounded Archie’s birth, as well as the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s three children.

Like Archie, Lilibet won’t have a royal title, though the siblings are likely to be upgraded to prince and princess when their grandfather, Prince Charles ascends the throne.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with son Archie in May 2019 – the first the world saw of him.

A Lili by any other name

The Sussexes announced on their Archewell website that it was the Queen who inspired the name.

“Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales,” the statement read.

Social media users were quick to criticise the couple for the name, believing it was inappropriate given their chequered past with the Queen.

Others speculated that the royal family, who the Sussexes recently accused of racism, would be furious to learn the child was named after the monarch.

But most Twitter users believed the name was a cute tribute to the “strong women” in Prince Harry’s life.

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