When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they’d called their new baby daughter Lilibet, it came as a surprise.
Most people were expecting the couple would honour the Royals in some way, despite recent tensions. They were just tipping a more conventional name choice than Lilibet.
Last month, British bookies had Philippa, after Harry’s late grandad, Prince Philip, as the favourite at 3/1, followed by Diana, after Harry’s mum, at 5/1, and then Elizabeth, after Harry’s gran the Queen, at 10/1.
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As Meghan and Harry explained, they did name their daughter, who was born last Friday, after the Queen, but they gave her the family nickname, Lilibet, instead of Elizabeth. It’s a nickname that’s been in use for more than 90 years.
As a little girl, the future monarch struggled to get her tongue around “Elizabeth”. Her grandfather, King George V, playfully copied her pronunciation, “Lilibet”, and it stuck.
Growing up, Elizabeth called herself Lilibet. In one letter she wrote as a seven-year-old to her “Granny”, Queen Mary, she told her that she had “lost a top front tooth” and had enjoyed going to a fancy dress party.
"It was simply lovely,” she wrote.
“There was a clown and a jester and a snowman and lots of people I knew. There were stalls full of lovely things in them. There were lovely flowers and toys and sweets. Love from Lilibet."
Her father, King George VI, also used the nickname. He famously said about his daughters, “Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy."