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The Queen's ex-press spokesman has accused Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of a "complete about-face' after the name of their baby daughter was announced.
Royal commentator Dickie Arbiter, a senior aide to the Queen from 1988 until 2000, said calling their daughter Lilibet "Lili" Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was 'quite controversial'.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the birth of their second child earlier today.
She was born in a hospital in Santa Barbara, California on Friday – weighing 7lbs 11oz.
Lilibet is the Queen's childhood nickname, and one used by her late husband Prince Philip during their decades of devoted marriage.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex holding their son Archie
But Mr Arbiter has now voiced his 'surprise' at the royal couple's choice given their recent feud with the family.
During a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan accused an unnamed member of the royal family – not the Queen nor Duke of Edinburgh – of racism, saying the mystery person expressed concern about how dark their first child Archie's skin tone might be before he was born.
The duchess also called out the institution for not helping her when she was suicidal.
In his Apple TV mental health series, Prince Harry talked about the trauma he suffered growing up in the royal family, and how he now hoped to break the cycle of pain.
Prince Harry and Meghan announced their happy news today
(Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)
What do you think of Meghan and Harry's choice of name? Add your congratulations in the comments
Mr Arbiter said given the recent revelations, he was 'taken about' by their decision to honour the Queen in their new daughter's name – and added it was controversial to christen a baby with a nickname.
“I’m surprised by Harry and Meghan’s choice of names for their daughter. It’s not unusual for families to name babies after a parent or grandparent," he wrote for The Mirror.
"But given everything that’s gone on over the past few months, such as the interview with Oprah in March and Harry’s appearance on a mental health programme for Apple TV, I’m taken aback.
"In those interviews, Harry was very critical of his father and his upbringing so by default was also critical of the Queen.
"He moved to California to distance himself, but choosing this name is a complete about-face. So I wonder if taking the Queen’s nickname for his baby is an olive branch? Only Harry can answer that.
"The Queen gave herself the nickname Lilibet because she couldn’t say Elizabeth as a child, and it stuck. I think it’s rather cute.
Dickie Arbiter was the Queen's press spokesman for more than a decade
"It could be seen as quite controversial to christen a baby with a nickname, and I doubt the little girl will grow up with any other Lilibets in her classes (although people in California call their children all sorts). So maybe that’s Harry and Meghan showing their independence again – just like Archie, another non-royal name.
"Choosing Diana’s name for their baby isn’t a surprise, as we all know Harry’s closeness to his mother was such that her loss has caused him mental issues even 24 years on.
Meghan Markle and Harry's touching gesture to other girls after birth of daughter Lili
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"But I wonder what Diana would have made of their daughter having her name as a middle, and not a principal name? Charlotte also has Diana as a middle name so they could have chosen it for her first name.
"Again, that’s only for Harry and Meghan to know. And if the names are indeed olive branches, only time will tell if they work.”
The new arrival is a little sister for Archie, who was born in 2019, and a new cousin for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
She is the Queen's 11th great-grandchild – the first of the monarch and Philip's great-grandchildren to be born since the death of the duke in April.