The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have today welcomed the newest addition to their family – a daughter named Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
But the way Harry and Meghan made the announcement was worlds away from the formal statement Buckingham Palace made in 2019 after their son Archie, two, was born.
Since stepping down from their roles within The Firm last January, the couple has been given the freedom to announce their daughter’s birth however they want.
Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11.40am at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara weighing 7lb 11oz, and is said to be settling in at home.
Prince Harry (pictured with Meghan two days after Archie was born) and Meghan Markle’s second child was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40am at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara weighing 7lb 11oz, and is said to be settling in at home
In a message of thanks from Meghan and Harry on their Archewell website, the duke and duchess said: ‘On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili.
‘She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.’
The couple was allowed to keep the birth under wraps until they were ready, whereas when Archie was born an announcement was made when Meghan went into labour.
Not only this, but the couple were able to release a statement in their own voice thanking the public for its support – an announcement which was notably absent after the birth of Archie.
Since stepping down from their roles within The Firm last January, the couple has been given the freedom to announce their daughter’s birth however they want. Pictured: A press release from the Sussexes press secretary announcing the birth of their daughter
Not only this, but the couple were able to release a statement in their own voice thanking the public for its support – an announcement which was notably absent after the birth of Archie. Pictured: The Palace’s announcement after Archie was born on May 6, 2019
The announcement of Archie’s birth on May 6, 2019, came directly from the Palace and was strikingly sterile in its delivery, even down to the military-style time given and phraseology.
While Buckingham Palace’s announcement in 2019 read that Meghan was ‘safely delivered of a son at 0526hrs this morning’, today’s statement from the Sussexes simply said, ‘Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11.40am’.
It read: ‘Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526hrs this morning. The baby weighs 7lbs 3oz. The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth.’
‘The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news. The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.’
‘Her Royal Highness and the baby are both doing well.’
Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan with Archie in Cape Town on September 25, 2019
The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a daughter named Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, after the family nickname for the Queen and the duke’s mother Princess Diana, who died in 1997
However, the Sussexes’s press secretary released a statement this afternoon which seemed to have much more character and warmth.
WHERE DOES HARRY AND MEGHAN’S DAUGHTER LILI FALL IN THE LINE OF SUCCESSION?
Lili is eighth in line to the throne. The first seven places remain unchanged – the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Harry, and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Harry retained his place in the line of succession despite quitting royal life, and dropping his HRH style.
With the arrival of Harry and Meghan’s new addition to the family, the Duke of York, who was born second in line in 1960, has moved down to ninth place.
Andrew stopped carrying out royal duties in 2019 following his controversial Newsnight interview over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The baby girl has been named Lilibet after the Queen’s family nickname but she will be known as Lili. She has entered the line of succession behind her older brother Archie.
Andrew’s eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice, has moved to 10th in line.
His youngest, Princess Eugenie, has fallen out of the top 10 to become 11th in line, and her son August has moved to 12th place, the Earl of Wessex to 13th place and the Princess Royal to 16th.
There will be further changes in the autumn when Beatrice’s baby arrives and becomes 11th in line.
Lili is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild, and the first of the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh’s great-grandchildren to be born since Philip’s death in April.
For hundreds of years, the Royal Marriages Act 1772 meant descendants of George II had to seek the sovereign’s consent before they wed, otherwise their marriages were deemed invalid.
But this law was repealed through the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which restricted the consent to just the first six people in the line of succession.
It read: ‘It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world.
‘Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11.40am in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California. She weighed 7lbs 11oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home.
‘Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet.
‘Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.
‘This is the second child for the couple, who also have a two-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
‘The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.’
When Archie was two days old, the Sussexes then presented their newborn to the world in an official photoshoot at Windsor Castle.
But they are now under no obligation to take part in an official photoshoot with their daughter, or to present her to the world in such a formal manner.
There was some expectation that the couple may use the birth of their daughter as an opportunity to associate their personal celebration with their charity work.
And the Sussexes have done so by asking that anyone who wishes to send a present to support organisations working for women and girls.
A message on the Archewell website reads: ‘For those inquiring on sending gifts, we would ask that you support or learn more about these organisations working for women and girls: Girls Inc., Harvest Home, CAMFED or Myna Mahila Foundation.’
The couple made similar nods to charity when making previous celebratory announcements such as Archie’s birthday and their wedding anniversary.
Last month on their third wedding anniversary the Archewell Foundation announced its plans to build its next Community Relief Center in India.
And for Archie’s second birthday this year the couple encouraged the public to donate to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Despite Harry and Meghan quitting as senior working royals, the baby still has a place in the line of succession.
She is eighth in line to the throne, coming after Archie, who is seventh in line, and before the Duke of York, who has dropped to ninth place.
The new baby is also a first cousin of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis and a fifth grandchild for Charles, but will grow up across the Atlantic, thousands of miles away from the royal family – at a time of heartbreak and division within the Windsors.
Harry and Meghan revealed they were expecting a girl in March during their explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Her arrival follows the heartache the couple suffered when the 39-year-old duchess suffered a miscarriage in the summer of 2020.
In November, former Suits actress Meghan wrote, in a deeply personal article for the New York Times: ‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.’
The Sussexes announced on Valentine’s Day they were expecting again, releasing a black and white photo of themselves sitting under a tree in Los Angeles.