Queen Elizabeth Was Furious About Harry and Meghan's Daughter's Name, Insider Says

A source claims that the couple didn't actually get her blessing before naming Lilibet.

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their daughter in June 2021, the world found out that she was named after two royal family members: one of her great-grandmothers and and one of her grandmothers. Her first name is Lilibet, after Queen Elizabeth II's nickname, and her middle name is Diana, after Harry's mother, Princess Diana. Her full name is Princess Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, and she's often called Lili. But while the name Lilibet seems like a sweet tribute to the late monarch and Harry's grandma, a new book claims that the queen was actually upset about it—specifically about how Harry and Meghan talked about it publicly.

RELATED: How William Kept Harry From Queen Elizabeth's Side Before Her Death, New Book Reveals.

The Daily Mail has published excerpts from the new book Charles III: New King. New Court. The Inside Story by Robert Hardman. In the book, Hardman writes that a member of Elizabeth's staff said that the queen was upset after Harry and Markle publicly claimed that Elizabeth had supported them naming their daughter Lilibet.

Hardman sys that one staff member "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 author adds, "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."

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony in 2018
JOHN STILLWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In June 2021, the BBC reported that, according to a source, Harry and Markle had not asked the queen if they could use the name. But, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex countered that they had.

"The duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement—in fact his grandmother was the first family member he called," the rep said. "During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honor. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name."

Additionally, the BBC reported that the law firm that represents Markle and Harry said that reports they hadn't spoken to the queen about naming their daughter after her were false and defamatory.

Hardman writes in his book, "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 materialized."

While Harry and Markle have spoken out negatively about their experiences in the British royal family ever since stepping down as senior royals in January 2020 and moving to the U.S., they remained supportive of Queen Elizabeth, including in their interview with Winfrey. The queen passed away in September 2022 at the age of 96.

When Lilibet was born, Buckingham Palace shared in a statement, '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."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under