When Prince Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan, were going to have their second child, daughter Lilibet, they went out of their way to give her a memorable name. However, they first had to call someone to get permission to use it.
In January 2020, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan announced that they were stepping back from their senior royal roles and seeking to be independent. The couple and their son, Archie, eventually relocated from the UK to California in the US that same year.
During an interview with "The Late Late Show" host James Corden, Harry opened up about the pressures of being a royal. He also revealed why they'd decided to resign from their royal duties.
Prince Harry at the launch of Team UK for the Invictus Games in London on October 29, 2019. | Source: Getty Images
In the rare interview, the Duke of Sussex noted how he preferred the royal life depicted on the show "The Crown." Meghan's husband explained their move, stating:
"We all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health. I was like, 'this is toxic.' So I did what any husband and what any father would do."
However, that wasn't the only reason the Sussexes felt pushed to take drastic measures. In March 2021's CBS tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan shockingly revealed that while living in the UK, she started feeling suicidal while pregnant with her son.
She reached out to someone in the Royal Family but was told that getting mental health help wouldn't look good for the family's image. While starring in his documentary, "The Me You Can't See," Harry addressed his wife's past suicidal thoughts and how badly he handled them.
The duke felt he should've done much more when his wife confessed that she was suffering. Perhaps the stress Meghan and Harry were going through eventually took its toll on them by showing physical signs when they experienced a miscarriage.
In an article for The New York Times, the duchess confessed that she lost her second child in July 2020 through a miscarriage. After Roe v. Wade was reversed in June 2022, Meghan participated in a conversation about abortions and miscarriages.
Harry's wife noted how fortunate she was to have her two children. The royal said she knew what it felt like to have "a connection to what is growing inside of your body" and that what happened to women's bodies was quite personal.
However, she felt this led to a stigma and silence about abortions and miscarriages even though many women dealt with such personal issues. Meghan emphasized that she knew what it was like to miscarry.
During an Apple TV + interview, Harry delved deeper into mental health and his struggles in the Royal Family. He revealed that he'd seen general practitioners, doctors, and therapists to help sort out his life before meeting his wife. However, meeting Meghan was the ultimate force in pushing him to get better, stating:
"I knew that if I didn't do the therapy and fix myself that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with."
According to Vanity Fair, the Sussexes decided to step back long before they made their public announcement. They sent Harry's father, Prince Charles, and the Queen emails asking to meet in person.
However, the email was vague about the reasons for the meeting to avoid it becoming public knowledge if it was leaked. Before 2019's Christmas, the couple mentioned a desire to move abroad.
THE SUSSEXES NEW LIFE IN CALIFORNIA
In February 2021, Harry took a scenic tour of Los Angeles with Corden on an open-top bus. Becoming independent from the royals meant the Sussexes could now participate in regular interviews.
The duke and his wife had settled into Santa Barbara for almost a year when the Corden interview occurred. He said their lives in the US were simple: having tea with Archie, bathing the boy, reading him a book, putting him down, and going downstairs.
Meghan would then prepare something to eat, or they would order takeaways. Then back upstairs to settle in bed, watch some "Jeopardy!" or maybe they'd view Netflix for a while just like any other family.
The couple's Montecito, California home boasted 18,000 square feet and cost $14.65 million. It has nine bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, an elevator, a foyer with a staircase, a kitchen with a butler's pantry, living and dining rooms, and a breakfast room.
The mansion also has a family room, a billiards room with a wet bar, a library, a home theater, a wine cellar, a gym, and a spa with a massage room. The couple's cream-colored bedroom has a television, a fireplace, a chandelier, French doors, a balcony, and exposed wood beams on the ceiling.
The bathroom has a fireplace, a marble bathtub, and another sitting room. The Sussexes five-acre estate also has a chicken coop, rose gardens, an outdoor pizza oven, olive trees, pool, vegetable garden, playground, tennis court, a tea house, a two-bedroom guest house, and a children's house.
According to The Mirror, at the beginning of 2022, Archie started attending school with lessons such as "emotional literacy," how to be kind and look after the environment, and mindfulness. While most celebrities took their children to the All Saints by the Sea Episcopal School.
Instead, Harry and Meghan chose a school that was further away and less traditional. Archie's mother was once seen driving him to school before carrying his space-themed lunchbox and green backpack while dropping him off.
A parent of one of the little boy's classmates revealed how Harry would often drop and pick up Archie. The source noted how the royal appeared to be a good father and that the other parents were welcoming of him and his wife.
The children at the school also saw Archie as one of them and didn't know his parents were royalty. The insider said the other children would probably not care about the boy's parent's status unless the duchess was a Disney princess!
In June 2021, the Sussexes surprised everyone when they announced the birth of their daughter, Lilibet Diana. The little girl was welcomed at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California.
According to Nicky Haslam, a socialite, interior designer, and friend to the royals, the Queen was under the impression the child would be named "Elizabeth" - not a private name like "Lilibet."
In their statement, Harry and Meghan revealed that the daughter's first name was taken from her great-grandmother, the Queen, whose family nickname was Lilibet. The child also got her middle name as an honor to her late grandmother, Princess Diana.
THE CONTROVERSY BEHIND LILIBET'S NAME
In 2021, when the news came out about Lilibet's birth, Jonny Dymond, BBC's royal correspondent, alleged the Sussexes hadn't asked the Queen if they could use her nickname for their daughter.
The royal couple responded by launching a legal filing against BBC, claiming the story was "false and defamatory." Their spokesman said Harry spoke to his family before making the announcement, adding:
"In fact, his grandmother was the first family member he called."
During that conversation, Meghan's husband shared "their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honor." The spokesman also confirmed that the couple would not have used the name if the Queen wasn't supportive.
According to Nicky Haslam, a socialite, interior designer, and friend to the royals, the Queen was under the impression the child would be named "Elizabeth" - not a private name like "Lilibet." Haslam shared that Harry called to ask his grandmother's permission, and she obliged.
However, he alleged she didn't know her nickname would be used because Harry never clarified the matter. Haslam made his claims during a The Third Act podcast episode in April 2022, asking why the couple didn't name Lilibet "Doria" after her other grandmother, Meghan's mother, because it was "the prettiest name ever."
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