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Confusion over how Sussexes told Queen about using her nickname for their baby

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Confusion remains over how Prince Harry and Meghan told the Queen they were going to use her nickname, Lilibet, for their baby daughter’s first name.

On Sunday evening, the Sussexes announced the arrival of their little girl, confirming they had called her Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

Lilibet is the nickname that was given to the Queen when she was a child.

The Queen and the Duchess of Sussex at an event in Widnes, Cheshire in June 2018
Image: A spokesperson for Harry said the Queen was the first member of the family that he called

There are conflicting reports about how or when they made Harry‘s grandmother aware of the choice of name, and whether they asked for her permission first or just told her that they had decided to use Lilibet.

The palace has refused to comment, but a palace source pointedly did not deny the suggestion that the Queen was “never asked” about the use of the nickname.

However, Sky News has been told by a spokesperson for the Sussexes that the Queen was the first member of the family that Prince Harry called ahead of making the announcement on Sunday.

The spokesperson also confirmed that during his conversation with the Queen, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet “in her honour”, and that if she hadn’t been supportive they would not have used the name.

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In their official statement at the weekend, the Sussexes confirmed that the name was a tribute to the Queen saying: “Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet.”

Sky News understands that Prince Harry also spoke to other members of family before the announcement was made over the weekend.

File photo dated 25/09/2019 of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex holding their son Archie during a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs Tutu at their legacy foundation in cape Town, on day three of their tour of Africa. Meghan and Harry will celebrate the second birthday of their son, who helped inspire his mother???s new picture book. Issue date: Thursday May 6, 2021.
Image: Lilibet is a first sibling for Archie, pictured here in 2019

Some have interpreted the choice of the monarch’s nickname as a potential olive branch and a sign that the family still matters to Harry.

It comes after a fractious 18 months which have seen the Sussexes move to America and step away from royal life, and accuse the royal family of racism, being bad parents, and turning a blind eye to mental health issues during their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

It is worth pointing out that often the choice of royal baby names are left open to interpretation and guess work, with the palace never specifically explaining why certain names have been chosen, or saying if individuals were asked if their names could be used.

Princess Charlotte also has Elizabeth as one of her middle names.

But after a difficult time for family relations between the Sussexes and the rest of the Windsors, a lack of clarity this time has turned this baby girl’s name into more of a story than it was ever intended to be, and that is likely to cause frustration on both sides.