Piers Morgan today said Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s decision to use the Queen ‘s nickname for their new baby daughter was ‘ironic’ – given the couple had spent weeks ‘trashing the Royal Family and the monarchy’.
The DailyMail.com editor-at-large was responding to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announcing the birth of Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, which appeared to have caught Buckingham Palace on the hop.
‘Lilibet’ was the name coined by the Queen when she was too young to pronounce Elizabeth. The 7lbs 11oz baby, whose late grandmother Diana’s 60th birthday would have been next month, was born on Friday evening UK time.
Buckingham Palace declined to say when the Queen was informed of the safe arrival of her 11th great-grandchild, who is eighth in line to the throne, or whether she was advised of the tribute to her in Lili’s name. However, The Times reported that Harry had spoken to his grandmother before yesterday’s announcement was made.
The birth came after Harry and Meghan made a series of explosive claims about the Royal Family and complaints about royal life during bombshell interviews with Oprah Winfrey over the past few weeks months.
Today, Mr Morgan appeared on Australia’s Today programme on Channel 9, and was asked by host Karl Stefanovic what he thought of the name. He replied: ‘It’s quite ironic, isn’t it? You have this couple who have been trashing the Royal Family and the monarchy for the last few weeks and they have named the baby after the Queen.’
He also said he wondered if the decision to honour the Queen with their daughter’s name was Harry and Meghan’s way of trying to rebuild bridges with the rest of the Royal Family. Mr Morgan said: ‘Maybe it’s their way of reaching out, as the Americans say, to the royals and wanting some kind of end to this on-running feud.
Mr Morgan, 56, then offered a few words of support to the couple, saying: ‘I always think when a new baby is born – I’ve had four myself – it’s churlish to put any negative slant. At such a moment. I wish them all the very best. There is four in the family now. I wish them every success and a long and happy life.’
Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, plunged the Windsors into crisis with their interview with Oprah in March, when they accused an unnamed royal of making a racist remark about their son Archie’s skin tone and claimed the royals failed to help the Duchess when she was suicidal. They refused to name the royal who allegedly made the remark.
Last month, Harry also spoke to Oprah about mental health for Apple TV+ and suggested his father, Prince Charles, had allowed his children to ‘suffer’ when it came to the media because of his own negative experience.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pictured at Windsor Castle following the birth of their first child Archie in May 2019
Piers Morgan (right) was interviewed on the Today show on Channel 9 in Australia and spoke to host Karl Stefanovic (left)
Harry and Meghan’s new daughter will be known as Lili Diana. She was born in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, a private facility where a natural birth costs £10,000 and a Caesarean section is £20,000.
Last night the delighted Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who live in an £11million mansion in Montecito, California, announced: ‘On June 4, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili.
Sweet family nickname for Queen that inspired Harry and Meghan’s name for their baby daughter
Lilibet – the Queen’s family nickname – was first used when Princess Elizabeth was just a toddler and unable to pronounce her own name properly.
Her grandfather King George V would affectionately call her ‘Lilibet’ imitating her own attempts to say Elizabeth.
The sweet nickname stuck and she became Lilibet to her family from then on.
The Duke of Edinburgh also referred to his wife as Lilibet, writing to his mother in law after their wedding: “Lilibet is the only ‘thing’ in the world which is absolutely real to me.”
Harry and Meghan’s new baby daughter – the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild – will be known as Lili.
A variation on Lily, the flower is often seen to symbolise purity, commitment, rebirth and fertility.
Lili’s middle name Diana honours Harry’s later mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
It is no surprise the couple chose to pay tribute to Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997 when Harry was just 12.
Lili has been born almost a month before the princess would have celebrated her 60th birthday on July 1.
Lili’s cousin Princess Charlotte also has Diana as one of her middle names, as well as Elizabeth. She is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
‘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.’
Lili – who is eighth in line to the throne – was born in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, a private facility where births can cost up to £20,000.
The Queen, senior royals and the Prime Minister led worldwide tributes, with Boris Johnson tweeting: ‘Many congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their daughter.’
Meghan’s estranged father Thomas Markle, who has met neither Harry nor grandson Archie, said last night: ‘I am very pleased with the announcement of the safe and healthy delivery of my new granddaughter, and I wish her and her mother all my love and best wishes!’
Lili is the couple’s second child after Archie, who is two years and one month older than her. The new baby is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild, and the first to be born outside the UK.
The tribute to the Queen may be seen as an olive branch after Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, plunged the Windsors into crisis with their explosive Oprah interview in March, when they accused an unnamed royal of making a racist remark about Archie’s skin tone and claimed the royals failed to help the duchess when she was suicidal.
Buckingham Palace officials were unaware the baby had been born until the announcement came out at 5pm last night on social media.
They finally released a statement hailing the ‘happy news’ at 6.34pm, emphasising the gulf that exists between the Sussexes and the palace.
The name Lilibet was coined by the Queen and used by her sister Margaret and their parents. Her father, George VI once said: ‘Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy.’
Lili arrived six days before what would have been the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday.
It is less than a month since Harry reportedly upset the Queen by making ‘very personal’ criticisms of her and Prince Charles’s parenting skills.
He said in a podcast in the US that he and Prince William had been made to ‘suffer’ as children with their father, telling them: ‘Well, it was like that for me, so it’s going to be like that for you.’
The Buckingham Palace statement came more than an hour after Hollywood stars such as William Shatner had shared their best wishes on Twitter.
Last night the delighted Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the birth of their daughter on their Archewell website
A statement was issued by the couple’s press secretary yesterday which was released under embargo until 5pm yesterday
The Duchess of Sussex gave birth to her baby in the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California which was founded in 1888
Harry and Meghan are pictured in a photo released on February 14, 2021 to announce Meghan was expecting another child
The palace said: ‘The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.’
Sussexes ask people to support women’s groups rather than send gifts
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have asked well-wishers to support organisations helping women rather than send them gifts following the birth of their daughter.
Meghan gave birth to her second child – Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – on Friday at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California.
A post on the couple’s Archewell Foundation website said: “For those inquiring on sending gifts, we would ask that you support or learn more about these organizations working for women and girls: Girls Inc, Harvest Home, CAMFED or Myna Mahila Foundation.
“While the Duke and Duchess are on parental leave, Archewell will continue to do important work and publish stories on the site. We look forward to seeing you!”
Girls Inc, a US-based non-profit organisation, aims to “inspire and empower” girls aged five to 18 through various programmes, while Harvest Home supports homeless pregnant women and their babies.
CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education) aims to improve girls’ education in Africa, while the Myna Mahila Foundation provides jobs for women in India.
Harry and Meghan revealed they were expecting a girl in March during their interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The new baby is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild, and the first to be born since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April.
Lili is entitled to become a princess and Archie a prince when the Queen dies and Charles becomes king.
She is eighth in line to the throne, coming after Archie, and before Prince Andrew, who has dropped down a place to ninth.
Omid Scobie, a journalist favoured by Harry and Meghan, tweeted that the couple would ‘not be sharing a photograph at this time’ of Lili.
He said the couple’s office was encouraging anyone who wanted to send gifts to support organisations working for women and girls.
When Archie was born in 2019, Harry and Meghan went to extraordinary lengths to keep it a secret and even refused to confirm, either before or after the birth, where he was delivered.
The Daily Mail later revealed that the Duchess had given birth in the London Portland Hospital. It is not known when the Royal Family will get to see Lili. They have not seen Archie since his parents left the UK in November 2019.
Separately last night, Mr Morgan also criticised Meghan as he called her a ‘downright liar’ in an explosive interview with Mr Stefanovic on the Australian TV show 60 Minutes.
Mr Morgan left his hosting role on ITV’s Good Morning Britain in March after a clash with the show’s weatherman Alex Beresford, who tried to chastise him on air for his questioning of Harry and Meghan’s claims in the Oprah interview.
Mr Morgan had declared he didn’t believe her claims, and after the Duchess lodged a complaint, he was pressured by ITV executives into making an apology, but had declined, amid complaints lodged to UK media regulator Ofcom.
One of the Sussexes’s claims he took aim at was that the Duke and Duchess tied the knot in private three days before their official ceremony at Windsor Castle in 2018.
‘Well, that’s not true. They couldn’t have got married three days before they said they did because that would make the Archbishop of Canterbury a criminal,’ Mr Morgan said.
‘There were a lot of things coming out of Meghan Markle’s mouth that I knew to be untrue.’
‘There were downright lies coming out of the interview and I saw my job to hold these two people to the same account I would hold a government minister. For doing that, within 36 hours I had to leave the job.’
Karl Stefanovic (left) interviewed Piers Morgan on Australian TV in a show broadcast last night, on the 60 Minutes programme
One of the Sussexes’s claims Piers Morgan took aim at was that the Duke and Duchess tied the knot in private three days before their official ceremony at Windsor Castle in 2018. ‘Well, that’s not true. They couldn’t have got married three days before they said they did because that would make the Archbishop of Canterbury a criminal,’ Mr Morgan said
Unbeknown to the morning TV host at the time, Meghan had personally contacted the station’s top brass to complain about his criticism.
The bestselling author of ‘Wake Up: Why the World has Gone Nuts’ said nowadays people are ‘not allowed to have strong opinions’. He said: ‘You’re not allowed to disbelieve a liar like Meghan Markle. I’m sorry to call her that but she tells lies… We’ve proven that.’
Australian TV veteran Mr Stefanovic has at times been one of Mr Morgan’s fiercest critics in Australia and previously defended the young couple against Mr Morgan’s attacks. Talking about Mr Morgan’s feud with Meghan, Mr Stefanovic said in 2018: ‘I mean, what is that guy on? He’s lost the plot completely.
‘I don’t know how his poor co-host puts up with it. Imagine putting up with a dude like that who is so up himself and so egotistical that he would assume to say those things about her. It’s disgusting. You wouldn’t put up with it. He needs to go. He’s off the mark here.’
In Sunday night’s TV confrontation, Mr Stefanovic asked Mr Morgan if he’s just an angry old man’ – triggering laughter from the media veteran. Mr Morgan hit back by insisting that ‘freedom of speech is actually more important than the Meghan Markle debacle’.