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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcome baby girl

The Independent logo The Independent 8/6/2021 Lydia Koh
a person standing next to a tree © The Independent Singapore

Santa Barbara — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have just welcomed their second child, a girl, on Friday (June 4). The daughter of the couple was named after Queen Elizabeth and Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana. Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Friday at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California with Harry present. Archie, the couple’s first child, was born in 2019. The name of the couple’s daughter pays tribute to the queen after a challenging year for the couple and the extended royal family.

The 95-year-old British monarch’s family nickname is Lilibet. According to Buckingham Palace, the queen, Harry’s father Prince Charles as well as his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate, were thrilled with the news. Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, joined in to send his congratulations.

William and Kate said via their official Twitter account: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the birth with a statement.

“On June 4th, 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,” they said.

“Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”

Prince Harry et al. sitting posing for the camera: Meghan Markle gave birth to Lilibet Diana last Friday. Picture: Instagram © The Independent Singapore Meghan Markle gave birth to Lilibet Diana last Friday. Picture: Instagram

The couple said that Lilibet’s middle name was selected to honour her grandmother, Princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997, The Sun Daily reported quoting Reuters. Their press secretary said that both mother and baby – who is eighth in line to the throne – were doing well and were back at home. The nature of the announcement, almost two days after the birth, reflects the new life the couple have chosen in the United States.

In the past few years, when Kate gave birth to her three children, she emerged each time alongside William from a London hospital just a few hours later to be photographed by the world’s media that had camped out in the street. The birth of Lilibet follows almost a year and a half after Harry and Meghan broke the news that they decided to step down from royal duties.

During March this year, the couple gave an explosive interview to US chat show host Oprah Winfrey, accusing an anonymous royal of making racist remarks and saying Meghan’s pleas for help when she felt suicidal were ignored. Meghan, 39, whose mother is Black and father is white, said she had been naive before marrying into royalty.

Harry, 36, and his wife live in a secluded $14 million (S$18 million) mansion in the celebrity enclave of Montecito, about 80 miles (130 km) north of Los Angeles, which is also home to Winfrey, comedian Ellen DeGeneres, and other celebrities. May 2 was the last time Harry appeared in public, at the VAX Live concert in Los Angeles. Meghan attended the concert virtually. The event was held to boost vaccinations worldwide against the coronavirus.

In a November 2020 essay, Meghan revealed that she had a miscarriage in July 2020. Harry made further public criticism of his childhood after the interview with Winfrey and that caused another public relations problem for the royal family. In May, the Duke of Sussex spoke of the trauma of the loss of his mother and how that was compounded when he had to walk as a 12-year-old behind her coffin in a funeral cortege under the glare of the world’s media.

Queen Elizabeth, who lost her husband Prince Philip in April after 73 years of marriage, said that she was saddened to learn of the experiences of Harry and Meghan. According to the Archewell website, the couple would be taking parental leave from their charity Archewell, and have asked people who want to send gifts to support or learn about charities doing work for women and girls.

The names given to the baby also echo those given to the only daughter of Prince William, Harry’s elder brother, who is called Charlotte Elizabeth Diana./TISG

The post Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcome baby girl appeared first on The Independent Singapore News.

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