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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's "hypocritical" baby name choice is a "damage limitation exercise", a royal commentator has claimed.
On Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the birth of their baby daughter Lilibet – after the Queen's childhood nickname.
The couple's second child – named Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor – was born on Friday in the US, but the announcement was delayed until yesterday.
Her Majesty, 95, is said to be delighted with their name choice, but not everyone has shared the monarch's enthusiasm.
Royal expert Daniela Elser said the decision to name their child in honour of the Queen was "hypocritical" and a "damage-limitation exercise."
Writing in her column for Australian outlet news.com.au, she said the "bewildering" name choice contradicted the Sussexes' previous claims they wanted to distance their baby from her royal heritage.
"Harry and Meghan naming their second child so blatantly, if not fawningly, after his grandmother – the woman whose life it would seem they have made considerably more difficult this year – just seems bizarre," she wrote.
Brits call for extra Bank Holiday to celebrate Meghan and Harry's baby news
"Rather than coming across as reverential or respectful, Harry and Meghan’s decision to go with Lilibet just seems obsequious in the extreme.
"If this is some attempt at patching things up with his family, at making amends after months of death by myriad media cuts, then it seems a very transparent way of going about it.
"It also feels hypocritical."
Meghan and Harry have been at odds with his relatives since quitting royal duties and moving to the US last year.
Harry and Meghan's name choice for second child shows Royal Family still matters
But that rift has grown in recent months following their bombshell TV interviews with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.
During Harry's docuseries The Me You Can't See, he accused "The Firm" of showing "total neglect" for his mental health, while Meghan claimed the royals of "perpetuating falsehoods" about the couple back in March.
"The choice of Lilibet seems like a flagrant ploy to remind the world of the little girl’s status as a member of the royal family," Elser said.
"If the intended reaction to Harry and Meghan’s choice was designed to be a collective, global 'awwwww', then they might just be about to come up woefully short.
"It’s hard to be affected or charmed by this move given Archie has not seen his British family since 2019, a fact that the pandemic can only go some way to explaining.
"There is also something a tad uncomfortable about their choice of name in that Lilibet was famously Prince Philip’s pet name for his wife of 72 years.
"To take something so intimate and personal and to recycle it in this manner, one would hope that they had Her Majesty’s okay. If that has been the case, neither side has said so thus far."
- Meghan Markle
- Prince Harry
- Royal Family
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