Prince Harry's second-born: How life will be different for Lilibet Diana

·Royal Correspondent
·5-min read

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

Lilibet Diana occupies an unusual place in royal life.

She is the second-born of the second-born, or as some might say, the spare of the spare.

Prince Harry was the second-born of Prince Charles and Diana, the Princess of Wales, and his path was always going to be different from that of elder brother William, who was destined for the throne.

Diana wanted her sons to be treated exactly the same, but inevitably things were different for William, who was prepared from childhood for the eventual role he will inherit.

Royal biographer Angela Levin previously said: "The late Queen Mother would always invite Prince William over for tea and talk to him about his future and not invite Prince Harry."

Royal correspondent Katie Nicholl said: "Prince William’s role has always been defined. What he’s going to do has always been clearly outlined. Harry, like spares historically in the Royal Family, has had to find a role for himself."

Harry has spoken frequently in the past few months about how his childhood shaped him and said he wanted to "end the cycle of pain and suffering" that he dated back to how the Queen raised his father, Prince Charles.

Speaking on a podcast with Dax Shepard, Harry said: "I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody, but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically."

And living in California, with a foundation to run and a job to hold down at BetterUp, Harry will be able to offer his daughter a childhood he could not have. 

Prince Harry was still a working royal when the documentary was first planned. (Apple TV)
Harry has more freedom to offer his daughter a different life to his. (Apple TV)

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

Author Matthew Dennison, who wrote The Queen, said previous royals in Lilibet's position have been able to enjoy much more privacy and a life outside of the limelight.

He wrote in The Daily Telegraph: "For the younger children of the spare, the future is even less likely to yield glittering prizes – or, looked at differently, to impose the relentless burdens of sovereignty. 

"How different has been the life of Lady Sarah Chatto, the second child of George VI”s 'spare', Princess Margaret, from that of her aunt the Queen, the elder child of George V's spare, Albert, Duke of York (later George VI)."

He added: "Like earlier children of royal spares, however, she may, over time, enjoy the privilege of privacy denied to those closer to the throne."

Historian and royal biographer Richard Kay noted in the Daily Mail: "(Harry's) daughter is destined for a very different experience, without a title and an upbringing that will have little in common with George, her cousin and future king." 

Princess Eugenie, with whom Harry and Meghan are close, is a modern-day close comparison. She is the second-born of the Queen's second son, Andrew, who leap-frogged his sister Princess Anne in the line of succession at birth due to rules around male primogeniture. 

The princess works, but shared her baby news both via the palace and personally, through her own Instagram account where she updates followers on her own life and charity projects, in a more informal style than other royals.

And the children of the second child of the Queen and Philip have even less of a royal connection.

Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, Princess Anne's children, don't even have royal titles – just as Lilibet and Archie currently don't hold any. 

The couple later added this picture of their son to the post. (Archewell)
Harry and Meghan shared this picture of their son Archie for his second birthday. (Archewell)

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

They both work, with Zara having forged a successful sporting career and Peter working in a similar field, as managing director of his own sports management company.

However the benefits of being a descendent of the Queen will be more difficult for Lilibet to enjoy. With some 6,000 miles between her and her great-grandmother, answering the invitations to Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace or securing a spot on the balcony for Trooping the Colour will represent a logistical problem. 

But Harry has been open about why he chose to move his family to Meghan's home state of California, insisting it was for their safety and mental health.

And he has enjoyed the laid-back lifestyle on the west coast, remarking on trips to the beach with his Archie, fun that Lilibet will likely be included in as she gets older.

He said: "I guess, the highlight for me is sticking him on the back of the bicycle in his little baby seat and taking him on these bike rides, which is something I was never able to do when I was young."

When her grandfather accedes the throne, Lilibet and Archie will have the opportunity to use the royal titles of Prince and Princess. 

Whether they choose to take them, having heard their father's views, will remain to be seen.

Watch: Harry and Meghan's baby: The story behind the name

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