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What’s in a name? Harry and Meghan issue legal warnings over BBC claim Queen not asked about naming baby Lilibet

Lawyers for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have issued a legal warning over a BBC story and the naming of their daughter Lilibet.

The broadcaster quoted a Royal source who said the Queen was not consulted about the name – an “intimate nickname” she was given as a child.

Only her closest family called her Lilibet.


The BBC published the story on its website, and it dominated news agendas during the day.

However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ lawyers have insisted the claims must not be repeated.

The legal team argues the article was “false and defamatory”.

Omid Scobie, who is close to the couple, tweeted:

“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.

“Those close to Prince Harry confirm that he spoke to close family before the announcement so perhaps this report highlights just how far removed aides within the institution (who learned of the baby news alongside the rest of the world) now are from the Sussexes’ private matters.”

Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born to Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, last week in California.

Her name is in tribute to the Queen and Harry’s mother Princess Diana.

However, it has been described as “inappropriate” by one Royal commentator.

Angela Levin said:

“The name was given to her by King George V, her grandfather.

“She couldn’t say Elizabeth when he was very small. ‘Say, what’s your name? We’ll say Lilibet.’

“So that’s why he called her that.

“He wanted that name for her, it was his special name.

“I think that it’s quite demeaning. I really believe that.”

And the Queen’s biographer Sally Bedell Smith said the name suggested “inappropriate intimacy”.

She added: “In today’s tense climate, when everyone is walking on eggshells with Harry and Meghan, I can’t imagine that the Queen had any choice but to accept the name they presented to her.

“Even if she felt – as would be completely understandable – that it breaches her privacy with a suggestion of inappropriate intimacy.”



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