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What's the significance behind the name of Harry and Meghan's newborn daughter?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II and the late Princess Diana with their daughter's name.
/ Source: TODAY

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their second child, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, on Friday.

Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle announced the news of the birth of their first daughter on Sunday. She was born at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, weighing 7 pounds and 11 ounces.

One name to honor two generations of royal women.
One name to honor two generations of royal women.Getty Images

“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 of the birth of a daughter for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex," Buckingham Palace said in a statement shared with TODAY.

Her name pays homage to two women of the royal family. In a statement, the couple said, “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.”

Where does Lilibet come from?

Lilibet was a nickname given to Queen Elizabeth II when she was a child because she wasn’t able to pronounce her full name. The sweet nickname was documented in a letter sent by the queen (then, Princess Elizabeth) to her grandmother, Queen Mary. A photo of the letter was shared on the official royal family Twitter account in April 2016 in honor of the queen’s 90th birthday.

“Darling Granny, thank you very much for the lovely doll’s house,” the letter read. “I do love it, and I have unpacked the dining room and the hall. Love from Lilibet xxx.”

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9, was known to use the nickname as a term of endearment for his wife. Vanity Fair reported that he once wrote to the Queen Mother, “Cherish Lilibet? I wonder if that word is enough to express what is in me.”

He added that his wife was, “the only ‘thing’ in this world which is absolutely real to me and my ambition is to weld the two of us into a new combined existence that will not only be able to withstand the shocks directed at us but will also have a positive existence for the good.”

How do you pronounce Lilibet?

Combine "lily" and "bet" and you have "Lilibet," with stronger emphasis taking place on the first "li" rather than the second.

A name honoring two generations of royal women

Lili's middle name, Diana, pays tribute to Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana who died in a car crash in August 1997. Prince William’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, has both Elizabeth and Diana as her middle names as well.

What is her last name?

Harry and Meghan also have a son, Archie, who turned two last month. Like her older brother, Lili's last name is also Mountabatten-Windsor. The family name comes from Prince Phillip's surname (Mountbatten) and the name Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather, King George V, took on after Windsor Castle in 1917.

The couple announced that they were expecting their second child on Valentine’s Day, which shares a special connection to Princess Diana. Harry's parents announced that they were expecting him 37 years ago on the same exact day.

In a message from the couple on the official Archewell website, they said, "On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. 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.”