‘Absolute cheek!’ Meghan and Harry blasted for ‘shameless’ ploy with Lilibet name choice
Lilibet Diana: Expert says name is 'not much of a surprise'
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Commentator Sarah Vine said she was “utterly flabbergasted by the absolute cheek” of deciding to name Meghan and Harry’s baby Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. While the baby’s second name is an obvious tribute to the Duke of Sussex’s mother, Lilibet is the Queen’s childhood nickname, used only by her grandfather King George V, her parents, her sister and, later in her life, Prince Philip.
The decision to pay tribute to the Queen by using this name has been seen by many royal watchers and experts as an olive branch offer from the Sussexes to the Royal Family.
But Ms Vine expressed a rather different opinion in a comment piece she penned.
She wrote in the Daily Mail: “While Harry and Meghan may have had the absolute best intentions in naming their new arrival Lilibet, in the light of their recent uncaring attacks on the Queen part of me worries that it feels like a rather shameless, attention-grabbing attempt to boost their royal brand – a brand on which their future earnings and bankability very much depend.
“Don’t get me wrong: I’m delighted at the new arrival.
“But one can be simultaneously happy for them and Archie, who now has a little sister, and utterly flabbergasted by the absolute cheek of it.”
Ms Vine went on saying the Queen is the head of the institution the Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused of racism and neglect in their landmark interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Moreover, she recalled Prince Harry’s criticism of his upbringing during an episode of the Armchair Expert podcast.
While the Duke of Sussex only mentioned Prince Charles, who appeared to be accused of not “breaking the cycle” of pain while bringing him and Prince William up, some royal watchers saw this comment as a slight to the Queen and Prince Philip’s parenting skills too.
Ms Vine went on speaking about what she believes are the “advantages” of the name Meghan and Harry chose for their daughter.
She said: “By calling their daughter after the Queen herself, and using the most intimate and private name by which she is known, they have ensured that however frosty and distant relations with the royals back home become, in the eyes of the public the association with the British Royal Family will never be forgotten.
“Whatever the future now holds, the Queen will be forever a part of their lives. And, crucially, of Brand Sussex.”
During the recent public appearances in which they spoke about the Royal Family, both Meghan and Harry spoke in the highest possible terms of the Queen.
In his interview with James Corden in February, Harry revealed he has remained in touch with his grandmother, who had even shipped across the pond a waffle maker as a Christmas present for Archie.
During his interview with Oprah, Harry also dismissed claims he blindsided the Queen with the bombshell Megxit statement dated January 8, 2020, saying he has “too much respect” for her.
He also said: “My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and an understanding.
“And I have a deep respect for her. She’s my Colonel-In-Chief, right? She always will be.”
Similarly, Meghan said the Queen had always been “wonderful” to her and recalled small acts of kindness carried out by the Queen during their joint engagements in Cheshire in 2018.
The positive words reserved to the Queen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in light of their criticism of the Firm were noted also by Professor Kate Williams.
Defending their choice to name their daughter Lilibet Diana, Prof Williams wrote in the Daily Mail: “Although [Harry] and his wife have stepped down from the family business, they are still part of the family.
“The couple have always been at pains to emphasise their respect and fondness for the Queen (a monarch whose own name came from her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon).”
Prince Harry 'told Queen he'd name child after her' says expert
Moreover, Prof Williams added Lili will be able to carry on a name that would otherwise be lost at the end of the Queen’s reign.
She said: “Just two months ago, she lost her husband of 73 years and, with his death, it seemed as if that endearing nickname he had used all her life was likely to pass into extinction.
“No longer. Instead, it has been given a new life by the latest generation of royals.”
As announced by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Sunday, Lili was born on Friday at a hospital in Santa Barbara.
Mother and daughter are well and have already returned home.
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