How the birth statement was released shows the difference the Sussexes’ circumstances are to May 2019 Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor is born after 25 months after her big brother, Archie Harrison. With her birth, Queen became a great grandmother for the 11th time and also completed, so they have said anyway, Harry and Meghan’s family (“Two it is” the Duchess told Oprah earlier this year).
Two children, only two years apart. Yet the announcement of Lili’s birth has also served as a reminder of just how time has changed after 2019. When Harry and Meghan quit official royal life, a central aim was to live freely. Their deep frustration and unhappiness were already showing by the time Archie was born when they pushed back against royal convention and declined to name his place of birth or pose for a large-scale photocall.
As their team faced reaction over practical issues in making the statement, the debate around the Sussexes’ choices versus royal baby expectations also formed the backdrop of their son’s arrival on May 6, 2019. The couple had a baby girl on June 4, 2021, they made it clear that they are all alone while doing this. No longer working royals or receiving any taxpayer funding, the Sussexes have removed the basis for an argument that their lives are in any way public property.
The way flag-waving fans descended on the streets of Windsor for Archie’s birth, there is nothing expected for Lili’s arrival. Instead, Harry and Meghan took two days to make an announcement, which they did on June 6. They said what they want to send it to ahead of an embargo set for noon ET. They let it be known that they will not be releasing a photograph at this time, and there remains no indication (and no backlash about this lack of indication) of when we may first catch a glimpse of baby Lili.
According to townandcountrymag.com, “what is also notable, however, is the fact that, now that they have control, the Sussexes seem much happier to be open. The information about the birth location they strove to keep secret when it was expected (it was eventually revealed via Archie’s birth certificate that he was born at the Portland Hospital) was readily offered up this time around.
The fact that Lili was born at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital was provided alongside details spelling out why they chose the name, Lilibet Diana—after her great grandmother’s childhood nickname and to honor her “beloved” late grandmother. Indeed, it is notable that while in the fold of “the Firm” and fighting to do things their way, Harry and Meghan selected names for their son that did not have an obvious family or royal connection.
Now they have their freedom, the names were chosen for their daughter emphasize their bond with—and some have suggested offer an olive branch to—Harry’s family”. Everything about this announcement has been on Harry and Meghan’s terms. They have made it clear to us once again that they are in control as they move forward with their new lives. But Lilibet Diana also reminds us that Harry’s royal roots remain very much a part of their future.