The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed that they did buy the “Lilibet Diana” and “Lili Diana” internet domain names before their daughter’s name was approved by the Queen.
The revelation will raise further questions about whether the couple sought permission from Her Majesty to use the highly personal pet name or rather “told” her when the baby had been born.
A spokesman for the Sussexes said they purchased a “significant” number of domain names for a range of potential names they were considering.
It suggests that had the Queen strongly objected to the use of Lilibet, the couple did have other names to fall back upon.
The domain name lilibetdiana.com was snapped up in the US on June 4, the day the baby was born and two days before the public announcement, fuelling speculation that the couple had bought it either to prevent others cashing in or with the intention of setting up a foundation in her name.
Several days earlier, on May 31, the domain name lilidiana.com was registered, suggesting that the couple had already settled on the baby’s name.
A spokesman for the couple told The Telegraph: “Of course, as is often customary with public figures, a significant number of domains of any potential names that were considered were purchased by their team to protect against the exploitation of the name once it was later chosen and publicly shared.”
The name Lilibet was first used by the young Princess Elizabeth when she was unable to pronounce her name properly. It has only ever been used by her parents, her late husband Prince Philip and a handful of her closest friends and relatives.
The question of whether or not the Sussexes sought permission from the Queen to use the name for their second child caused a legal row after the BBC reported that they had “never asked”.
Lawyers instructed by the Duke and Duchess said it was “false and defamatory” for the corporation to suggest the couple did not ask the Queen.
The Sussexes have always insisted that they would not have used the name if the Queen had not been “supportive” of their choice.
But rather than confirming their version of events, Buckingham Palace refused to deny suggestions that the Queen had not been asked.
Even the couple’s spokeswoman stopped short of suggesting that a conversation had been had with the Queen before Lilibet was born.
"The Duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement, in fact his grandmother was the first family member he called," she said.
"During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honour. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name."
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, who will be known as Lili, was born at 11.40am (19.40BST) on Friday June 4 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California.
The Sussexes are both taking several months’ parental leave, although the Duke will be in the UK next week for the unveiling of a statue of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.