Meghan Markle's Daughter Has the Coolest Name

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed a daughter named Lilibet "Lili" Diana in 2021, adding another layer of history to how royals are named.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Photo: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry delighted the world with news of the arrival of their second child. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released an official statement, in which a spokesperson confirmed that the baby girl was born on Friday, June 4, 2021, at 11:40 a.m. weighing 7 lbs. 11 oz. They also announced the heartfelt baby name Meghan and Harry chose.

"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," the statement read. "Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales."

Lili Diana joined 2-year-old big brother Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

In their own "message of thanks" added below the official statement, the Duke and Duchess personally note, "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."

How the British Royal Family Names Work

Every family has its own tried and true method for choosing baby names. For example, it's not uncommon for some new parents to recycle names from the family tree to honor loved ones. Other families like to find unique names that buck baby name trends. And some folks will simply look through a baby naming book and see what jumps out at them.

But if you're a British royal, baby-naming is something of a science. According to the British online newspaper, The Independent, there are five rules that all royals must follow when naming their children.

Royals traditionally have no surname

Before the year 1917, British royals didn't have surnames; instead, they were named after the royal house—or dynasty they came from. Think Harry Potter and the four Hogwarts houses. Before this shift, kings and princes took the name of the country or territory that they ruled over.

But everything changed when King George V adopted the surname Windsor. Later, in 1960, Queen Elizabeth II decided that her children needed a name that was distinct from Windsor, and that is how the surname Mountbatten-Windsor was born.

Royals have multiple names

Surnames aside, the royals love long names. The closer to the throne in the line of succession, the longer the name. The standard protocol is three names, but some have more. For example, Prince William is William Arthur Philip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor. Talk about a mouthful!

Since Harry and Meghan stepped away from their royal duties, it is highly unlikely that they will ascend to the throne. But Harry is still technically fifth in line to become monarch. That distance between Harry and the throne, however, means that his kids don't have to have three names. Their daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, and son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, each have two names.

Unique names are frowned upon

Much like the rule of having three names, the closer a royal is to the throne, the more traditional the name they must have. That's why there have been 12 Alberts since 1819. Since Harry and Meghan aren't very close to the throne (or even living near the castle), they were able to choose unique names that closely match their taste and style.

The queen played a role in naming royal babies

While the late Queen Elizabeth II didn't officially have to give her approval for royal names, during her decades-long reign, she was traditionally the first person to be told the chosen name before it was revealed to the public. If she was happy with the name, then it could stick. However, if the name didn't meet her standards, you can bet that that name changed pretty quickly. It's unclear if King Charles will maintain this tradition.

Titles are given by the monarch

You might now know this, but titles are not always a guarantee just because a baby is born to a royal. Titles such as queen, king, prince, and princess are automatically assigned based on proximity to the throne. But once grandkids are born, things get a little tricky.

Grandchildren born along the male line are given titles by the monarch, but grandchildren born along a female line are not. Since William and Harry's kids were great-grandkids to the queen, they were not given titles automatically. At the time, the queen did give William and Kate's children titles of prince and princess, but she did not extend that privilege to Harry and Meghan's children.

Harry and Meghan don't have to adhere to the strict rules of baby naming, which means they get to choose some really cool, unique names. Lilibet Diana is absolutely adorable and warm reminder of the strong women in the royal family. And how cute is Archie Harrison? He sounds like a member of the Beatles.

Congratulations to Meghan, Harry, and Archie!

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