LONDON — Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have announced the birth of their second child, daughter Lilibet “Lili” Diana.
The baby is named after Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s grandmother, who was called Lilibet during her childhood, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Harry’s mother, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, while being pursued by paparazzi.
Harry and Meghan said they were “blessed” by the arrival of their second child. “She is more than we could have ever imagined,” they wrote, “and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe.”
Mother and baby are “healthy and well” and adjusting to life at home, they said.
The decision to name the baby after Elizabeth might be viewed as a peace offering after what has been months of scandal and upheaval for Britain’s royals. Lilibet is the queen’s 11th great-grandchild.
Harry and Meghan have a son, Archie Harrison, who was born in May 2019. Meghan revealed in November that she had a miscarriage in July. She wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times that the grief that came with losing a child was “almost unbearable.”
Within seconds of the birth announcement, well-wishers flocked to social media to congratulate the couple, who have had a tumultuous year. A stunning interview the couple gave to Oprah Winfrey on life in the spotlight has divided the royal family.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered his congratulations to the couple on Sunday evening local time, as did Harry’s older brother, Prince William, and his wife, Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“We are delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili,” the pair wrote on their official Twitter account.
Harry and his brother were last seen in public together in April, during the funeral of their grandfather, Britain’s Prince Philip, who was married to the queen for more than 70 years. Photographs of the brothers together reignited hopes that they were repairing their relationship following rumors of a growing rift between the family.
During a two-hour sit-down with Winfrey in March, Harry and Meghan offered a string of staggering claims concerning the royal family. Among them, that Meghan had suffered from depression and had considered suicide. They said that they were denied support from the family, and that one member had expressed concern, when Meghan was pregnant with Archie, over how dark the child’s skin would be.
Meghan has a Black mother and a White father.
Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of Lilibet Diana! The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted with the news.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 6, 2021
Lilibet is Her Majesty’s 11th great-grandchild. pic.twitter.com/dGVeRpd3pK
Meghan and Harry were married at a lavish ceremony at Britain’s Windsor Castle in May 2018 but chose to step back from their royal duties in January 2020, a decision that stunned the family and people around the world.
The couple has long struggled with attention from the notorious British tabloids and expressed anger and despair over the constant scrutiny that comes with being a part of one of the most famous families in the world. Before the pair were married, Harry criticized the British media in a rare statement over its ill treatment of Meghan, blasting journalists for racist and sexist reporting. He said he was worried for her safety and wanted to protect her.
In a recent podcast interview, Harry spoke openly about the detrimental effect that losing his mother had on his mental health and said Meghan encouraged him to seek support.
“She could tell that I was hurting and that some of the stuff that was out of my control was making me really angry,” he said. “It would make my blood boil.”
Harry also described his life as the son of heir to the throne, Prince Charles, as akin to being on “The Truman Show” and living “in a zoo.”