Prince Harry talks about his family a lot, as recent events have proved! Yet there are two members of his family he’s largely kept quiet about… his children. In fact, Harry and Meghan have done a pretty good job keeping Archie and Lilibet away from the spotlight. But we do know some things about baby Lili, and now that we’ve even seen pictures of her, it’s clear which side of the royal family she takes after.
Second Sussex child
Harry and Meghan were very private about little Lilibet Diana at first. It took a while before they even showed their fans some pictures of her.
But, because she was a member of the British royal family and in the line of succession to the throne, her birth made headlines all around the world. And although Harry and Meghan had stepped down as royals by then, the rest of the family did release a congratulatory statement.
The official Buckingham Palace representatives posted a message on Instagram, which read, “Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of Lilibet Diana! The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted with the news. Lilibet is Her Majesty’s 11th great-grandchild.”.
And royal family fans definitely took note of her name, as she was named after not one but two other royals. Harry and Meghan said in the June 2021 birth announcement, “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.”
Lili and Lilibet
As was common with the late monarch, Elizabeth II didn’t speak publicly about anything regarding her great-grandchild and namesake. Or at least, not until Christmas of that year, where the Queen did give a shout-out to Lili — and her cousins — in her annual speech.
She referred to “our young children, of whom we were delighted to welcome four more this year.”
More and more details about Lili gradually came out as Harry and Meghan began their media tours for their post-royal projects. Harry’s 2023 book Spare even went into details about the day she was born, and it contained a surprising revelation: Harry himself had delivered her.
He wrote in the book, “When the doctor said it was a question of minutes, I told Meg the first thing I wanted was for the little baby to see my face.”
And in late 2022, when the couple’s docuseries Harry & Meghan dropped, it revealed that Lili’s godfather was none other than Hollywood star Tyler Perry, the man who set the duke and duchess up with a house and security once they had left the royal family. He was happy to have been asked, but he had one qualm about being given the honor..
Perry recalled that he had said, “Uh, hold on a second — does this mean we gotta go over there and do all of that in church with [the royal family] and figure all that out? I don't wanna do that.” But it seems that the other royals in fact had no say whatsoever when it came to Lili’s godparents — and Harry and Meghan clearly wanted it that way..
The Harry & Meghan documentary also gave fans their first real look at Lili interacting with her parents and older brother. One sweet clip showed the little girl celebrating her first birthday at Frogmore Cottage, blowing out the candles on a cake.
Since she’s a royal, it wasn’t just any cake either: it was created by Harry and Meghan’s wedding-cake creator Claire Ptak.
Like mother, like son
So now that everyone has seen what Lili looks like, the question arises: which parent does she take after? Well, Harry has some thoughts on that. He said in the doc, “I think at the moment, I see a lot of my wife in Archie.” And based on the images released of his son, he does seem to look more like his mother..
He went on, “I see a lot of my mom in Lili. She's very Spencer-like.
She’s got the same blue eyes... Golden-reddish hair.” But notably Harry also said in the documentary, “My son, my daughter, my children are mixed race, and I’m really proud of that.” This is especially poignant considering one explosive claim he and Meghan made in their 2021 Oprah interview — that one member of the royal family had harbored “concerns” about how “dark” their children might be.
There’s still plenty we don’t know about Lili and Archie — and their parents are determined that this remains the case — but every so often one of them drops an adorable little snippet for the TV cameras. Meghan opened up about the relationship between the older brother and the little sister when she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2021..
Meghan told Ellen, “[Archie] loves being a big brother. Someone told Harry and me that when you have one kid it’s a hobby and two children it’s parenting.
And suddenly we were like, ‘Oh, right!’ Everyone talks about what it’s like for the second child, but no one talks about the adjustment for the first child when the second one comes along.”
Much has been made of the fact that Archie and Lili look quite alike, as well. Although most shots of them in the Harry & Meghan documentary are arranged so as not to show their faces, we can see that their hair color is similar.
Both of them have reddish hair just like their father’s, rather than Meghan’s black hair.
Harry having red hair — something neither his father, mother, nor brother had — is one of many things he discusses in Spare. In the book, he remembered how even his dad, now King Charles III, would joke that he was an illegitimate child, because of the oft-repeated tabloid rumor that Diana’s lover Major James Hewitt was his real father..
Harry wrote in the bombshell memoir, “One cause of this rumor was Major Hewitt's flaming ginger hair, but another cause was sadism. Tabloid readers were delighted by the idea that the younger child of Prince Charles wasn’t the child of Prince Charles.
They couldn't get enough of this ‘joke’ for some reason. Maybe it made them feel better about their lives that a young prince’s life was laughable.”
Learning from the past
So perhaps seeing his children rocking their bright-red hair makes Harry consider himself less of an outsider, something he clearly felt intensely while growing up. And speaking of the duke’s relationship with his brother and father, he’s spoken about that too while discussing parenting — and mentioned which parts of his estranged family he does find himself seeing in his new one..
In 2023 Harry said in a Hello! magazine TikTok video, “The gap between me and William is very similar to Archie and Lili. To see Lili obsessed with Archie and Archie like, ‘No, no Lili, I need my space, I need my space’ — now I get it.” He went on, “I get how irritating the younger sibling can be to the older sibling.
But in the moment, at the time, I didn’t really grasp that, I didn’t really realize it.”
Breaking the cycle
And the father-of-two has recently been thinking about his relationship with Charles as well. He said on the Armchair Expert podcast in May 2021, “Certainly, when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain and suffering because of the pain and suffering that perhaps my father or parents suffered, I’m gonna make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on.”.
He and Meghan certainly seem to be devoting themselves to that idea, and their children of course. The documentary shows many sweet moments between the young family — watching sunsets, reading stories, talking about Diana — and hopefully despite everything the kids will grow up in a happy and healthy environment, whether their parents reconcile with their grandparents or not.
It hasn't just been Lili and Archie's relationship with their grandparents that have left fans scratching their heads, though.
From before Queen Elizabeth II passed away, right through to the seismic event on September 8, 2022, that upturned the face of the British royal family — some people have been wondering: did the late monarch ever get to meet Harry’s youngest before the end? Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was great-grandchild number 11 for the then Queen. Lilibet arrived into the world on June 4, 2021, and in the months that followed, her parents were hounded with a toxic whirlwind of media coverage.
From their move to the U.S. to their supposed feud, their every move was being scrutinized. But did Elizabeth and little Lili ever cross paths in the short time they had before that would no longer be possible?
Back into the thick of it
Just as the stories about Harry and Meghan might have seemed to be dying down, more drama was right around the corner for the royals. First off, Prince Philip died on April 9, 2021.
And just over a year later, Elizabeth herself followed. Aged 96, she passed away. In the wake of the Queen’s death, Harry and Meghan were again thrust into the spotlight in the U.K. And so, Harry was forced to break his silence about her relationship with his children.
Since his Queen Elizabeth's passing, it seems Harry has had time to reflect. And to that end, he released a statement in which he thought back to his grandmother and her relationship with his family.
Posted on the website of his Archewell Foundation, Harry’s statement read, “In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen — and in mourning her loss — we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty. She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy.”
Echoing her words
Harry then went on to quote Elizabeth’s own thoughts, delivered after the death of her husband Philip. He stated, “Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: ‘Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.’” With regard to these “first meetings,” Harry thought back to the very first time he introduced the Queen to his partner Meghan..
Coming full circle
This was a moment, he claimed, that he cherishes. But what about his kids? Well, Elizabeth certainly met Archie, but what about Lilibet? Did they ever meet? Well, as it turned out, they did.
Before the end, Elizabeth was, indeed, introduced to her great-grandchild Lilibet, the very child named after her own youthful moniker. It had all come full circle — and just in time. Both Harry’s kids got at least a moment with their great-grandmother. And Harry reflected on all of this further in the rest of his statement.
He said, “Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings — from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren.” Just like the former royal's outpourings in his tell-all memoir and fly-on-the-wall documentary, the emotions, it seemed, just kept coming in his speech..
Harry continued, “I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.
And as it comes to first meetings, we now honor my father in his new role as King Charles III.” The question remains, though: when exactly did the Queen meet U.S.-born Lilibet?
When did they meet?
Well, people seem to think it happened during summer 2022 when Elizabeth was celebrating her Platinum Jubilee. Harry, Meghan, and their kids made the trip for the event.
Besides that, one supposed insider has claimed the late monarch had also been introduced to Lilibet over a video call following her birth.
A fantastic visit
The summer visit of 2022 does seem the most likely contender for the time the Queen and Lilibet met in person, as this was when the child was first introduced to her grandfather Charles. According to People magazine, one royal insider has said of this encounter, “It was a fantastic visit.
The prince was delighted to see his grandson and meet his granddaughter for the first time.”
A wonderful thing
This insider went on to talk more about this meeting between Charles and his young grandchild. They said, “It was very special to have some time with him.
He hadn’t met Lilibet, his granddaughter, and so to meet her for the first time was very emotional — it was a wonderful thing.”
So, despite all the turmoil caused by Harry’s move to America, there are some positives for the family. He won’t have to live in regret that his children never got to meet their great-grandmother.
That fateful encounter happened just in time — right before the end. It’s something for which he seems very grateful, even if his return to the U.K. when his grandmother died was still controversial.
Millions of eyes
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived at Westminster Hall for the Queen's lying-in-state, they no doubt felt the millions of eyes following them as they processed down the aisle. After all, it was one of their first public appearances in the U.K.
since they announced their controversial split from the royal family in 2020. Needless to say, the pressure was on.
Their "inappropriate" behavior
Although every senior member of the royal family was in attendance at the Queen's lying-in-state — including the newly appointed King Charles III and heir apparent Prince William — the cameras zoomed in on Harry and Meghan most closely. In a matter of hours, the obsession with Harry and Meghan returned with a vengeance.
The couple's body language, facial expressions, and hand-holding were condemned by some reporters for being "inappropriate."
Harry and Meghan vs. the press
The two of them didn't fare much better at the Queen's funeral, either. Although they seemed to take the criticism about holding hands to heart — they spent the funeral side-by-side but with a clear distance between them — people still commented on everything from Meghan's plain black dress to a sudden "lack of affection" between Harry and Meghan.
When it comes to the British press, the couple has never been able to win.
A drastic decision
The press' constant harassment forced the Sussexes to make a drastic decision: to leave royal life behind. "The clicking of cameras and the flash of cameras makes my blood boil.
It makes me angry. It takes me back to what happened to my mum, what I experienced as a kid," Harry once said in an interview with Oprah. So returning to the U.K., where the media scrutiny is at its worst, was understandably nerve-wracking.
She wasn't "warmly welcomed"
And when news first broke that the Queen was in poor health, Princes William and Harry hurried to be by the Queen's side. Kate and Meghan, however, stayed behind — so, naturally, the press zeroed in on Meghan's absence, but not Kate's.
One of the BBC's royal correspondents speculated that Meghan “might not be terribly warmly welcomed" by the rest of the royals.
They depend on each other
So given the press' distaste for Meghan, it's clear why the Sussexes stood by one another throughout most of the lying-in-state and funeral events. As funeral attendee Pranav Bhanot told People, “I noticed just how supportive Harry was to Meghan...
When they went their separate directions after the ceremony, he gave her a firm squeeze of the hand. I felt he wanted to ensure she felt comfortable.”
How they truly felt
We wouldn't exactly describe Harry and Meghan's time in the U.K. as "comfortable," however, which may explain why the couple returned to the U.S.
soon after the funeral. And after two weeks away from their young children, Archie and Lilibet, it's no surprise that the couple sought out the relative safety and privacy of home. Of course, that didn't stop royal watchers from wondering how the couple truly felt about their return to London — and the Queen's death.
Back to the U.K.
It was reported in February 2022 that Harry, despite his high-profile split from the rest of his family, still hoped to return to the U.K. one day.
According to one of the couple's attorneys, "It should go without saying that he wants to come back: to see family and friends and to continue to support the charities that are so close to his heart. Most of all, this is, and always will be, his home."
Too dangerous to return
The problem, however, is safety: for himself, for his wife, and for his children. In giving up their royal duties, Harry and Meghan also lost the royal security team that shielded them whenever they were in public.
Though Harry tried to pay for his own security services, his offer was curiously denied. "In the absence of such protection, Prince Harry and his family are unable to return home," Harry's legal representative said in a statement.
Security risks aside
In California, Harry described, "You can walk around feeling a little bit more free. I get to take Archie on the back of my bicycle.
I never had the chance to do that." Of course, security risks aside, Harry and Meghan eventually left this freedom behind in order to attend the Queen's jubilee celebration in June 2022. And when she died, the couple once again journeyed to the U.K. — without their children.
Saying goodbye to Granny
Harry paid tribute to his grandmother in a statement posted to the website of his charity, Archewell. He made it clear how, despite all the family drama, his love for the Queen was never in question.
"Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings — from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my commander in chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren."
Nothing but respect
He went on to say, "I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over." Even though he cast royal duties aside for the safety and comfort of his own family, Harry made it clear that his respect for his grandmother never wavered — or his respect for the monarchy overall, as evidenced by what he said next..
A bittersweet reunion
"And as it comes to first meetings, we now honor my father in his new role as King Charles III," Harry said in his statement. He closed his statement by reflecting on one of the sole constants in his life: the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and her late husband, Prince Philip.
"We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace."
"A complicated time"
This sentiment was echoed by Meghan, who, in a rare interview with Variety for their Power of Women issue, opened up about what those first few days were like for herself and Harry after the Queen passed away. "My husband, ever the optimist, said, 'Now she's reunited with her husband,'" Meghan said.
In spite of this optimism, however, Meghan said that "It's been a complicated time."
The bombshell interview
Saying that this period has simply been "complicated" is generous of the duchess. Even the years leading up to the Queen's death have been more than "complicated" for Harry and Meghan, and not only because of their decision to leave the U.K.
and their royal duties behind. Their bombshell Oprah interview in 2021 reignited criticism of the entire royal family. Looking back on that time, Meghan told Variety just how vulnerable she had been.
She felt uncomfortable
Multiple months into her pregnancy and a year into the pandemic, Meghan was naturally wary of going out into the world again, especially considering her relationship with the press. So when she went to Gloria Steinem's birthday party a week after the Oprah interview aired, she didn't quite know what to expect.
"Walking into a room alone is never easy for me, and I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable," she said.
Thankfully, she was welcomed into the party with open arms. "These women were extraordinary to ensure I felt so welcomed.
It's like they knew exactly what I needed to feel in that moment... the power of sisterhood and female support can never be underestimated." And despite the rumored frostiness between Meghan and her sister-in-law, Kate, Meghan made it clear that female support was offered from the royal family — and from a very high place.
How the Queen really felt about Meghan
When asked about her relationship with the Queen, Meghan had only good things to say. "I’ve reflected on that first official engagement that I had with her, how special that felt," Meghan told Variety.
"I feel fortunate." Meghan went into more detail about her time with the Queen, and what she said undoubtedly miffed anyone who claimed that Meghan was never "warmly welcomed" by Elizabeth.
The Queen was "wonderful" to Meghan
"I continue to be proud to have had a nice warmth with the matriarch of the family," Meghan said. With all the speculation and drama surrounding Meghan's relationship with the royals, her admiration for the Queen has never been in doubt.
The Oprah interview may have put the royal family in hot water, but even then, Meghan was adamant that "The Queen...has always been wonderful to me."
The Queen's amazing legacy
And Meghan's respect for the Queen was evident in her interview with Variety, where she reflected on Queen Elizabeth's overall influence. "What's so beautiful is to look at the legacy that [Queen Elizabeth] was able to leave on so many fronts," she said.
"Certainly, in terms of female leadership, she is the most shining example of what that looks like."
Her role among the royals
At Queen Elizabeth's funeral, Meghan was shown looking teary alongside her equally emotional husband and royal relatives. Controversies aside, Meghan clearly isn't alone in her reverence for the departed monarch.
"I feel deep gratitude to have been able to spend time with her and get to know her," Meghan added. Still, the Queen's death was a historic moment, one that gave Meghan "a lot of perspective" about her role among the royals.
She said that processing such a huge loss "makes you wonder what you want to focus your energy on." But if Meghan has been regretting her decision to leave royal life behind, then she hasn't shown it. Instead, she feels even more optimistic about the future of her charitable foundation, Archewell.
"So much of the work we do includes the philanthropic space," she said. For Meghan, moving on from the Queen's death means embracing something in which the Queen herself was an expert: hard work.