The Queen was angry and upset upon hearing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s claim that they had received her blessing to name their daughter Lilibet, a new book has revealed.
According to author Robert Hardman, a member of staff reported that the late monarch was “as angry as I’d ever see her” after the couple publicly stated that she was “supportive” of their decision to use her childhood name.
It’s taken from an excerpt from a fascinating new biography – Charles III: New King, New Court. The Inside Story, which is being serialised exclusively in the Daily Mail.
Harry and Meghan welcomed their little girl in June 2021, confirming they had chosen to call her Lilibet Diana.
Lilibet was the Queen’s affectionate nickname stemming back to when she was a young girl. It’s thought it came about because the young Princess Elizabeth was unable to pronounce her own name properly.
It was only used by a handful of people closest to the Queen; her parents King George VI and the Queen Mother, her late sister Princess Margaret, her husband Prince Philip and a few friends.
There was speculation at the time about whether Harry and Meghan had sought permission from Her Majesty. The BBC said it had been told by a source at the palace that the Queen had not been asked, while other publications stated that when she was called by the couple, she did not feel in a position to say ‘no’.
However, a spokesperson for the Sussexes insisted that the couple would not have used the name had the Queen not been ‘supportive’. A statement said, “The duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement – in fact his grandmother was the first family member he called.
“During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honour. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name.”
Writing in his book, Mr Hardman said that one member of staff “privately recalled that Elizabeth II had been ‘as angry as I’d ever seen her’ in 2021 after the Sussexes announced that she had given them her blessing to call their baby daughter ‘Lilibet’, the Queen’s childhood nickname”.
“The couple subsequently fired off warnings of legal action against anyone who dared to suggest otherwise, as the BBC had done. However, when the Sussexes tried to co-opt the Palace into propping up their version of events, they were rebuffed. Once again, it was a case of ‘recollections may vary’ – the late Queen’s reaction to the Oprah Winfrey interview – as far as Her Majesty was concerned. Those noisy threats of legal action duly evaporated and the libel actions against the BBC never materialised.”
Elsewhere in the book, Mr Hardman also writes about Harry’s relationship with family members, including his father, the King. He quotes one friend as saying, “Of course the King is extremely sad about Harry and Meghan but there is a sense of exasperation, that he has done what he can and now he is King, there are many more things to think about.
“He has tried listening. Now he just says: ‘I don’t want to know what the problem is. I’m just getting on with my life’.”
As for Prince William, staff says he hopes people will understand and respect the fact that he had kept his counsel over his brother’s repeated attacks.
However, the suggestion from Harry that Windsor men, including his brother are ‘tempted’ to marry someone who would fit the mould – as opposed to somebody you are ‘destined to be with’ had landed badly.
“On top of all the other breaches of trust, here was Harry making a blatant attack on Catherine. For William, this was the lowest of the low,” one family friend is quoted as saying.