Harry threatens to sue BBC for claiming he didn't seek Queen's permission to name daughter 'Lilibet'
Prince Harry has reportedly threatened the BBC with legal action after it reported that he and Meghan Markle did not ask the Queen for permission to name their daughter "Lilibet". The Sussexes’ second child Lilibet 'Lili' Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Friday, June 4.
In the immediate aftermath of the announcement of the baby girl’s birth, the Internet was rife with speculations about her name -- it is after all the famous nickname of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry’s grandmother. Many wondered whether Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex had consulted with the Queen before naming her.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle introduced baby Lilibet to Queen over video call
Harry and Meghan Markle called 'dreadful people' for 'stealing' Queen's family nickname Lilibet
To add fuel to fire, a royal aide told the BBC that the couple did not ask the Queen for permission to name their daughter "Lilibet." This despite the Sussexes’ spokespersons claiming they would not have used the name had the Queen not been supportive.
The Sussex spokesperson said: "The duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement -- in fact his grandmother was the first family member he called. 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."
As per reports, the Palace aide who spoke to the BBC, while unnamed, is thought to be a senior official. While it's unclear if the Queen was aware of the comment, she is historically known to sign off on quotes from senior officials.
Now, as per a Daily Mail report, Prince Harry hit back within 90 minutes of the BBC's report being published through a statement from his and Meghan's close friend and journalist Omid Scobie that insisted the Queen was the first person the Duke called after the birth of his daughter.
Scobie also tweeted, “Those close to Prince Harry confirm that he spoke to close family before the announcement so perhaps this report highlights just how far removed aides within the institution (who learned of the baby news alongside the rest of the world) now are from the Sussexes’ private matters.”
Those close to Prince Harry confirm that he spoke to close family before the announcement so perhaps this report highlights just how far removed aides within the institution (who learned of the baby news alongside the rest of the world) now are from the Sussexes’ private matters.— Omid Scobie (@scobie) June 9, 2021
As per the report, Prince Harry took things a step further mere hours after his rebuttal of the report -- he has reportedly threatened BBC with legal action through law firm Shillings. Buckingham Palace has so far refused to comment on whether the story was true.
After Lilibet’s birth announcement, Buckingham Palace said in a statement, "The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news."
Russell Myers, the royal editor of the Daily Mirror, said in an earlier comment, “I am told Harry had said to the Queen he may name a daughter after her and so he didn't really ask for permission as such but it was a nice surprise. It can perhaps have these healing powers, it's been a turbulent time, the truth bombs all the labeling of the royal family as racist -- this seems to be a tremendous gesture.”
This is not Prince Harry’s first battle with the media. Earlier this year, in February, the Duke of Sussex reportedly accepted an apology and "substantial damages" from the publishers of the Mail over claims he "turned his back" on the Royal Marines. Two articles alleged Prince Harry had not been in touch with the Marines after stepping down as a senior royal. Prince Harry’s attorney had called the claims "baseless, false and defamatory".
In July last year, the Sussexes filed a legal complaint in Los Angeles, California, claiming an unnamed individual photographed 14-month-old Archie at the Sussexes' home during the coronavirus lockdown. The royal couple claimed the pictures were an invasion of privacy.
In 2019, the Mail got its hands on the letter that Meghan had allegedly sent to her estranged father Thomas Markle, and published it. The Mail also enlisted a so-called handwriting expert who claimed that her letter suggested she was “ultra-cautious”, a “showman and a narcissist”, “materially motivated”, and “a consummate performer and strategist”. In October 2019, the Sussexes sued the tabloid. They won claim that her privacy was breached, the High Court ruled earlier this year.
Around the same time, Harry filed a separate lawsuit against New Group Newspapers -- publishers of The Sun, the Daily Mirror, and the defunct News of the World -- for allegedly hacking their phones.