Prince Charles welcomes 'happy news' of granddaughter Lilibet's arrival

Prince Charles speaks about being a grandfather after the birth of Harry and Meghan's daughter Lilibet during a visit to the BMW factory in Oxford

Prince Charles has become the first member of the Royal Family to speak about the arrival of Harry and Meghan’s baby daughter.

Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – named after the Queen and her late grandmother Princess Diana- was born in California on Friday and the announcement was made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Sunday.

Her grandfather, Prince Charles, spoke about her on Tuesday, while pledging to protect the environment for future generations.

He was on a visit to the BMW factory in Oxford where they manufacture the Mini – and spoke about the “happy news” that he has become a grandfather for the fifth time.

The new Queen Elizabeth II returns to Clarence House with the Duke of Edinburgh after flying back to London Credit: PA

But he said the arrival of Lili, as she will be known, was a reminder that the world must continue to invest in low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles. 

Prince Charles said: “The development of technology like electric vehicles, or green hydrogen for that matter for heavy transport, is vital for maintaining the health of our world for future generations, something I am only too aware of today, having recently become a grandfather for the fifth time.”

The prince had just driven one of the electric Mini’s which are being made at the huge car plant on the outskirts of Oxford. 

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On the arrival of his new granddaughter, Prince Charles said: “Such happy news really does remind one of the necessity of continued innovation in this area – especially around sustainable battery technology – in view of the legacy we bequeath to our grandchildren.”

Prince Harry has openly criticised in father in recent months, both in his and Meghan’s explosive Oprah Winfrey interview and, more recently, in a podcast and Harry’s new mental health series for Apple TV, The Me You Can’t See. 

Harry criticised his father saying that Charles had “treated me the way he was treated” and he also accused the Royal Family of “total neglect” when he asked for help about his wife’s mental health.

The Prince of Wales referenced neither comment on Tuesday, but instead used the birth of a new member of the Royal Family – who is eighth in line to the throne – to talk about the need for a sustainable future.

The Sussexes were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in March this year, where the couple took aim at media coverage of them. Credit: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

The speech also included a reference to “my late father” Prince Philip.

Charles said: “The Duke of Edinburgh, used an electric vehicle based on the Bedford Lucas CV as early as 1981, and of course famously drove his eco-friendly liquid petroleum gas powered Metro-cab all over London.”

Charles also runs a 51-year old Aston Martin – which he converted to be powered by “surplus English white wine and whey from the dairy industry”.

Aston Martin engineers, the prince said “have had to admit that, much to their surprise, it runs better on that fuel than it did on petrol!”