Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have taken parental leave from their jobs after announcing the birth of their daughter Lilibet on Friday afternoon.
The baby, who was born on June 4 at 11:40 a.m. at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, has been named Lilibet after the family nickname of Queen Elizabeth, her great-grandmother. Her middle name is Diana, after her beloved late grandmother Diana, the Princess of Wales.
Harry allegedly informed the queen that her great-granddaughter would be named in her honor before making the official announcement through the couple’s website.
However, Buckingham Palace appeared to be caught off guard, and a royal spokesperson congratulated the couple 90 minutes after Harry and Meghan made the announcement. On Friday night British time, they said: “On June 4, 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,” Harry and Meghan added.
“Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.” the delighted Duke and Duchess of Sussex expressed. Besides, their press secretary said that they “thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.”
“Lilibet” is the nickname of the 95-year-old monarch, who coined it when she was very young and could not pronounce her own name. Harry and Meghan said their daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, will be known as Lili Diana.
Lili, the couple’s second child after Archie, is the queen’s eleventh grandchild and is eighth in line to the throne.
The queen, senior royals, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent congratulations messages to Meghan and Harry. Johnson wrote on his official Twitter account: “Many congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their daughter.”
Buckingham Palace officials issued a statement hailing the “happy news” shortly after 6:00 p.m. Friday.
“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,” the statement read.
However, the officials declined to discuss when the queen was informed of her great-grandchild’s arrival or whether she knew about the tribute to her in Lili’s name.