Did Harry and Meghan ask the Queen's permission to use The Queen's nickname Lilibet for their baby?

The Sussexes with Harry's grandmother the Queen in 2018. Credit: PA

Naming their new baby daughter Lilibet, in “honour” of the Queen, was always going to attract a lot of attention.

But did the Duke and Duchess of Sussex seek permission from Harry's grandmother before using the name?

In the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s announcement of the birth of the Sussexes’ second child – Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – we were led to believe that Harry had reached out to his family in advance.

Lilibet is a very personal nickname, which was first used by the Queen’s own parents when she was a small girl.

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It was how the very young Princess Elizabeth pronounced her own name – and the nickname stuck.

In fact, the Queen’s husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, often used it too.

But a Palace source is not denying a BBC story that the Queen was actually “never asked” by her grandson and his wife about naming their daughter Lilibet.After an acrimonious year in which the Sussexes have accused Harry’s family of racism, ignoring pleas for help for Meghan’s mental health, cutting them off financially, and being bad parents – to mention just a few - Harry saw his family face-to-face at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in Windsor.

Some reports suggested he spoke to the Queen then about using Lilibet – but we’ve been told by a source in Harry and Meghan’s office that it isn’t true.

However, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex insists Harry did speak with his family “in advance of the announcement” of the birth on Sunday and that the Queen was the first member of the family he called.

The spokesperson told ITV News that Harry and Meghan would not have used to the name Lilibet had the Queen “not been supportive” and other members of Harry’s family were also called before the announcement.

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

It’s also worth remembering that Prince William and Kate used the Queen’s name – and that of Princess Diana – for their daughter.

Princess Charlotte’s full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

With the newest arrival in the Royal Family – Lilibet is eighth in line to the throne and the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild – the use of the name Lilibet was translated by some royal watchers as a kind of olive branch after a difficult few months.

Prince Harry at his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral. Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

But, perhaps characteristically for the Sussexes, it’s proved to be controversial as Harry and Meghan chose a name so personal to the Queen after severely criticising the institution of Monarchy of which she has been head for 69 years.

What seems clear is that the Queen and the Royal Family knew about the name before the rest of the world were told, but it is much less clear whether permission to use Lilibet was sought in advance.