When Harry and Meghan’s baby arrived on Saturday, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was delivered without fanfare, a spark of joy into a family riven by claims of racism and neglect.
When the news of her birth was revealed this morning, however, there was an outpouring of love for little Lili – and a show of support for her high-profile parents.
A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan said the couple welcomed their child Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor at 11.40am on Friday (Saturday NZT). Their daughter weighed in 3486g.
Her first name, Lilibet, is a nod to the Queen’s nickname. Her middle name is in honour of her grandmother and Harry’s mother. The baby is the eighth in line to the British throne.
The couple issued a statement along with the announcement on Sunday, writing, “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.”
The couple have yet to release any photos of their precious new arrival.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the rest of the family had been told about the baby.
“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 spokesman said.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge showed their support with a public statement online, as did proud grandfather Prince Charles.
The website for Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation, which carried the initial message, asked anyone wanting to send gifts to charity.
A message on the 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.”
When the news was released, messages of congratulation began to flood in from around the world.
The Wellchild charity, of which Harry is a patron, wished the couple “every happiness”.
Congratulations also came from the British PM Boris Johnson.
Celebrities were quick to share their delight at the new royal arrival.
Some noted that Lili’s birth was a victory against the media, who had been in the dark about the arrival until Harry and Meghan made their announcement – and that Meghan could enjoy her daughter in privacy.
Harry and American actor Meghan Markle married at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born a year later.
In early 2020, Meghan and Harry announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They live in Montecito, a posh area near Santa Barbara, California.
The birth comes after Harry and Meghan’s explosive TV interview with Oprah Winfrey in March. The couple described painful discussions about the colour of their first child’s skin, losing royal protection and the intense pressures that led her to contemplate suicide.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning” and would be addressed privately.
Winfrey and Harry have recently collaborated on the Apple TV+ mental health series The Me You Can’t See.
Last year, Meghan revealed that she had a miscarriage in July 2020, giving a personal account of the traumatic experience in hope of helping others.
Despite leaving royal duties, Harry’s place in the order of succession to the throne remains.
The first seven places remain unchanged: Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry, and his son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Lilibet’s birth moves Prince Andrew, who was born second in line in 1960, down to ninth place.
– Additional reporting, AP
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