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Harry and Meghan Markle announce birth of baby girl Lilibet 'Lili' Diana after tumultous year

Their daughter, who will be eighth in line to the British throne, was born healthy on Friday in the southern California city of Santa Barbara and is now at home with Meghan in Los Angeles.

Published: 06th June 2021 11:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2021 11:56 PM   |  A+A-

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (File photo| AP)

By AFP

LOS ANGELES: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced on Sunday the birth of their daughter Lilibet 'Lili' Diana, named for Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and late mother, the Princess of Wales, after a year of increasingly strained ties between the couple and the British royal family.

Their daughter, who will be eighth in line to the British throne, was born healthy on Friday in the southern California city of Santa Barbara and is now at home with Meghan in Los Angeles. "Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, the Princess of Wales," said a statement from Harry and Meghan.

"She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home," the statement said of the couple's second child.

Shortly after the announcement, well-wishing statements began pouring in from around the world, led by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. "Many congratulations to The Duke & Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their daughter," he wrote in a tweet.

The couple live near Los Angeles following their decision to quit frontline royal duties early last year. They sat in March for a bombshell interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, triggering the royal family's biggest crisis since Harry's mother died in a car crash in 1997.

During the two-hour sit-down, viewed by more than 17 million people in the US and over 11 million in Britain, Harry and Meghan said racism had played a part in them quitting the UK for North America.

Grateful for 'love and prayers'

The couple said that a senior royal had speculated how dark their child's skin would be before he was born. Meghan's mother is Black and her father is white. Meghan, a former actress, also told Winfrey she was "naively" unprepared for life as a royal and had contemplated suicide while pregnant with her first child Archie.

Harry (36) and Meghan (39) accused newspapers of racial stereotyping, particularly set against coverage of Harry's sister-in-law, Kate, who is white. Prince Harry was said to have a good relationship with his grandparents. 

He told talk show host James Corden earlier this year that he had spoken via video call Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip since moving to the United States so they could see their great-grandson Archie. Harry has spoken to his father multiple times since the Oprah interview came out, notably after Prince Philip's funeral, according to British media.

In a new documentary series released last month, Harry once again emphasized that his family turned a blind eye to the struggles of his wife, saying he will "never be bullied into silence." However, the announcement of their child's arrival caps a painful, public period in their lives on a sweet note. 

"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. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family," Harry and Meghan said.



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