Keeping it in the family: How the Sussexes have followed tradition with Lilibet's name

·Royal Correspondent
·5-min read

Watch: Prince Harry and Meghan welcome baby daughter

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been striking out on their own, forging a new path in California after leaving their senior royal roles.

Despite their changed lifestyles on the west coast of the US, their choice of name for their new daughter Lilibet Diana represents a royal tradition.

It's common for members of the Royal Family to name their children after other members of the family, meaning many relatives share names somewhere along the line.

In fact, Lilibet shares one of her names with her cousin Princess Charlotte, who was christened Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Just like Charlotte, Lilibet was named after her great-grandmother and her grandmother, showing William and Harry share the same intentions of honouring the women in their lives when it comes to naming their daughters.

William also chose Charlotte, the female version of his father's name, to honour three people in just one name. 

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L), Zara Phillips (C) and her husband former England rugby captain Mike Tindall (R) stand in the owner's ring at Ascot, England on October 20, 2012.  Frankel produced perhaps his finest performance to retain his unbeaten record with his 14th victory in the Group One Champion Stakes in what was his final race. The Henry Cecil-trained colt -- winning his 10th Group One race -- had stumbled out of the barrier but recovered his poise to power home to beat last year's winner Cirrus des Aigles by 1 3/4 lengths.AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL        (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Anne gave her her daughter Zara, centre, the middle name Elizabeth, after her mother, the Queen, left. Here in 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images)

Read more: Harry and Meghan's baby daughter's name could be an 'olive branch', experts say

Princess Anne, the Queen's daughter, also honoured her mother in naming her daughter – one of Zara's middle names is Elizabeth too.

Anne has the middle name of Elizabeth herself, as well as Alice, which was her grandmother's name – Princess Alice was Prince Philip's mother.

Zara Tindall and Princess Eugenie chose to use their grandfather's name Philip in their son's names as they welcomed newborns this year.

Zara named her son Lucas Philip. Eugenie, meanwhile, went for August Philip Hawke for her son. The name reflects both her grandfather, and the baby's great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers on each side.

In fact, the decisions of Zara and Eugenie to use Philip in their sons' names and the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April prompted bookmakers to suggest Harry and Meghan could go for Philippa for their daughter's name. 

Zara's daughter Lena has the middle name Elizabeth, as does Peter Phillips's daughter Isla.

And Princess Beatrice's middle name is Elizabeth, as is that of Lady Louise Windsor, the daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Prince Louis, Prince George, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte  and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear on the balcony during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
William and Kate have used royal names for their children, following traditions. Here are the family on Buckingham Palace balcony in 2019. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Read more: Queen 'delighted' as Harry and Meghan welcome daughter – and Eugenie 'couldn't be happier'

However, royal editor of the Daily Mirror Russell Myers revealed that Harry had previously told the Queen he would like to name a daughter after her, and so the die may already have been cast before Lilibet's birth.

In fact, Harry and Meghan have been more traditional in the naming of their second child despite the fact that they are further away, living in California and not carrying out royal duties.

Sky's royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills noted: "The choice of Lilibet, the Queen's nickname, is in some ways an unexpected choice but a sign that family still matters despite everything that has been said.

"Both Harry and Meghan have spoken warmly about Her Majesty during interviews, despite being critical of the family and the institution that she leads."

She added: "In many ways it was inevitable and a loving tribute from her son that he would want to include Diana as his daughter's middle name."

Historian Dr Tessa Dunlop tweeted: "The choice of the Queen’s childhood pet name instead of ‘Elizabeth’ emphases an informal version of royalty.

"‘Diana’ restates that softer regal brand."

She also said it showed the couple "are keen to hold onto their royal status'.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England. The Queen's Young Leaders Programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates the achievements of young people from across the Commonwealth working to improve the lives of people across a diverse range of issues including supporting people living with mental health problems, access to education, promoting gender equality, food scarcity and climate change.  (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan, Harry and the Queen at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2018. (John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R), and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 8, 2019. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan were perhaps more traditional in the naming of their second child than with Archie, pictured here with them in May 2019 in Windsor. (Dominic Lipinski /AFP)

Read more: Who will be first to visit Baby Sussex? Here's the friends in the frame

It's a contrast to Archie's name, which was given to him because of the couple's interest in the Greek word arche, which means "source of action". It's the same word which inspired the name of their foundation, Archewell.

And their first born's middle name is Harrison, because he is Harry's son.

Prince William and Kate have used similar royal baby traditions in naming their sons too, with Princes George and Louis even sharing some of the same names.

Prince George's full name is George Alexander Louis, and the youngest Cambridge is called Louis Arthur Charles, with his own nod to his grandfather.

Prince William's full name is William Arthur Philip Louis, with names matching his grandfather and then passed onto his sons.

Prince Harry's full name is Henry Charles Albert David – sharing one of his middle names with his father.

Harry and Meghan have previously said they are stopping after two children, meaning their family of four is now complete. 

Watch: Princess Eugenie congratulates 'dear cousins' Duke and Duchess of Sussex on baby birth