(CNN)When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the birth of their second child — a daughter — on Sunday, the couple also revealed her name: Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
As with many names in the British royal family, it honors those who came before and pays tribute to not one but two women of particular importance to Prince Harry. LilibetThe name Lilibet might seem a little unusual at first glance but it is steeped in significance. The unusual moniker is a sweet tribute to the reigning monarch, as it’s actually Queen Elizabeth’s nickname within the family. It stems from her childhood when the then-princess was unable to properly pronounce her own name. Her grandfather, King George V, would affectionately imitate her attempts and the name stuck. Read MoreThe Queen’s husband Prince Philip, who died in April, also reportedly referred to his wife by her childhood pet name. When the Queen’s mother died in 2002, her coffin held a single wreath from the monarch with a card signed, “In loving memory, Lilibet.” The Sussexes’ daughter — who is the monarch’s 11th great-grandchild and eighth in line to the throne — will, however, be known as Lili. It’s a playful way of modernizing the family name but is also a variation of the name of a flower. Of Greek origin, the name Lily is often used as a nickname for those named Lilian or Elizabeth. The lily is a symbol of purity in Christianity, according to BabyCenter.com. DianaBaby Lili’s second name, Diana, was selected “to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales,” the couple revealed in the birth announcement. Diana was killed in a 1997 car crash in Paris when Harry was just 12 years old. This year would have marked her 60th birthday. Harry has spoken repeatedly about the impact his mother’s death had on his mental health.Throughout their marriage, the Sussexes have consistently invoked Diana’s memory. During their spectacular wedding ceremony three years ago, the couple went to great lengths to ensure her presence was felt on the day. The bride’s bouquet included white forget-me-nots (Diana’s favorite flowers), while Diana’s sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, delivered the first lay address. Her other siblings also attended the ceremony. More recently in the couple’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan wore a diamond tennis bracelet previously owned by her late mother-in-law. Harry told Winfrey his mother would have been “very sad” about the couple’s decision to step back from the royal family.”I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out, and very sad. But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy,” he said, adding that he “felt her presence throughout this whole process.”The name Diana itself is Latin in origin and means divine, according to BabyCenter.com. Photos: Britain's royal childrenQueen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip pose with seven of their great-grandchildren in this photo taken in 2018. The children, from left, are Prince George, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte, Savannah Phillips, Isla Phillips, Lena Tindall and Mia Tindall.Hide Caption 1 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenPrince George, the eldest son of Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, attends a Christmas Day church service in 2019. George is third in line to the British throne, behind his father and his grandfather, Prince Charles.Hide Caption 2 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenUS President Barack Obama talks to Prince George while visiting Kensington Palace in 2016.Hide Caption 3 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenPrince George was born in London on July 23, 2013. He is the first of William and Kate’s three children.Hide Caption 4 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenPrincess Charlotte, William and Catherine’s middle child and only daughter, is seen in this handout photo released on May 1, 2021, a day before her sixth birthday. She’s fourth in line to the throne, behind her brother Prince George.Hide Caption 5 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenPrincess Charlotte playfully sticks out her tongue while attending a King’s Cup regatta with her mother, right, in 2019.Hide Caption 6 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenCatherine holds newborn Princess Charlotte while speaking to the media outside a London hospital in 2015.Hide Caption 7 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenPrince Louis, William and Kate’s youngest son, rides his bicycle before leaving for his first day of nursery school in April 2021. Louis is fifth in line to the throne.Hide Caption 8 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenPrince Louis is held at his christening in 2018.Hide Caption 9 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenWilliam and Catherine leave the hospital with Prince Louis after his birth in 2018.Hide Caption 10 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenPrince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visit South Africa with their son, Archie, in 2019. Archie is seventh in line to the throne, just behind his father.Hide Caption 11 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenArchie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born in May 2019.Hide Caption 12 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenPrincess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, hold their newborn son, August, in February 2021. August is 11th in line to the throne, behind his mother, his aunt Princess Beatrice and his grandfather, Prince Andrew.Hide Caption 13 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenThe Queen’s son Prince Edward poses with his son, James, Viscount Severn, in September 2020. Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, have two children: James and Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor.Hide Caption 14 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenLady Louise, the elder child of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, turns 18 in November 2021.Hide Caption 15 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenCousins Mia Tindall, left, and Savannah Phillips attend the wedding of Princess Eugenie in 2018. Mia and Savannah are two grandchildren of the Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne. Mia is one of three children born to Mike and Zara Tindall. Savannah is one of two children born to Peter and Autumn Phillips.Hide Caption 16 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenIsla Phillips, Savannah’s sister, plays on an inflatable slide during a festival in 2018.Hide Caption 17 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenMia Tindall attends the Gatcombe Horse Trials in March 2019.Hide Caption 18 of 19 Photos: Britain's royal childrenZara Tindall’s younger daughter, Lena, is seen in 2019. Zara gave birth to another child, Lucas, in March 2021. Lucas is the youngest of the Queen’s 10 great-grandchildren.Hide Caption 19 of 19Baby Lili is not the first royal child whose name honors both the 95-year-old monarch and the late Princess of Wales. Harry’s older brother William and his wife, Kate, previously paid tribute to both sides of the family when they named their only daughter, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.Mountbatten-WindsorThe surname Mountbatten-Windsor is the personal family name used by many members of the royal family. It is a combination of the Queen’s surname — Windsor — and Prince Philip’s family name. He adopted the Mountbatten surname — an English translation of his mother’s maiden name — when he became a naturalized British citizen in 1947. Much was being made over the symbolism behind the names in British media on Monday. The Times of London reported that Harry had spoken to his grandmother before the announcement to let her know that her newest great-grandchild would be named in her honor. Who's who in the House of Windsor: Queen Elizabeth II's line of successionMeanwhile some outlets are speculating whether the choice of name was a gesture from the couple amid the recent family turmoil. Harry and Meghan stepped back as senior working royals last year and have since relocated to the US. Relations with the family back in the UK took another hit recently when Prince Harry discussed being caught in a cycle of “pain and suffering” as a result of his royal upbringing. Roya Nikkah, royal editor at The Sunday Times, told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today program, that the decision to acknowledge the Queen was not “hugely surprising” but the choice of to use her childhood nickname was “a step further.” “Lilibet is sort of a step further — it’s that very intimate name that the Queen has used since she was very little. And I think for me, I thought as many of us did, this is perhaps a diplomatic olive branch offered to the royal family after what’s been a very difficult, fractious year between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the family.”Nikkah continued, “There is something very special and intimate about Lilibet and despite the bombs that have dropped from across the pond over the past year, the Queen has constantly come out with statements from Buckingham Palace saying ‘whatever happens Harry, Meghan and Archie are much-loved members of my family’ and I think by choosing this very personal name to Her Majesty, Harry and Meghan are very keen to show that they have love and respect for her and that love is reciprocated.” Baby Lili isn’t the only Sussex to be given an unorthodox name that balances innovation and tradition. Hours after his birth in 2019, Harry and Meghan revealed their son’s name — Archie Harrison. There was no precedent in the royal family tree — CNN’s royal correspondent Max Foster revealed that they simply picked “a name they loved.” “What they are very much doing is reflecting their generation. They are not looking to history, they are looking to now,” he said at the time. Under rules laid out by George V in the 1917 Letters Patent, neither Lili nor her brother are yet eligible to use HRH titles. However, this will change when their grandfather Charles ascends to the throne.
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