Tyler Perry is opening up about being a godfather to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter, Princess Lilibet.
The actor recently spoke on Kelly Ripa’s podcast titled, Let’s Talk Off-Camera with Kelly Ripa, where he talked about not only how close he is with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but also how close he is with their two children: four-year-old Prince Archie and two-year-old Princess Lilibet.
During the episode, Ripa asked Perry what being a godfather to a member of the royal family looked like before he immediately started gushing over Lili. He then revealed the sweet nickname he has for her, which is “Little Lili.”
“She’s so adorable,” he said. “Oh, she’s so beautiful. She’s just so beautiful.”
“They make beautiful babies - that’s all I’ll say,” Perry continued. “They make some beautiful kids. Archie and Lili are beautiful.”
The filmmaker first broke the news that he was asked to be godfather during Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, which premiered in late 2022. When Lilibet was born in 2021, he remembered getting a phone call from both Harry and Meghan and that they were “pretty serious”.
“I go: ‘Okay, what’s going on?’ They said: ‘Well, we’d like for you to be Lili’s godfather.’ I go: ‘Whoa,’” Perry recalled. “I had to take a minute to take that in. And I thought: ‘I’d be honoured. I’d absolutely be honoured.’”
After agreeing and hanging up the phone, Perry realised there was one part of being the child’s godfather that he considered being a dealbreaker.
“I called them back and go: ‘Uh, hold on a second - does this mean we gotta go over [to the UK] and do all of that in church with [the royal family] and figure all that out? ‘Cause I don’t wanna do that,’” he said. “‘Maybe we can do a little private ceremony here [in the US] and let that be that, and if you have to do it there, then that’s okay.’”
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told People at the time: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday 3 March by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.”
There were 20 to 30 guests at the intimate ceremony, including Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland and Lilibet’s godfather, Perry. As grandchildren of the monarch, Archie and Lilibet are afforded the titles of prince and princess.
During the podcast episode, Perry also reflected on his relationship with Meghan, from the two of them first meeting over sharing a publicist, to watching her adjust to such a public relationship with Harry.
“I got the tremendous sense of how overwhelming it all was for her,” Perry said. “I got the sense that - listen, I know what it’s like to have a father who is not great, so seeing some of the things he was doing, I felt that she was very much isolated and alone. And I couldn’t imagine leaving America - and she had a really, really happy life. She was really happy, and I later found all of that out.”
He continued: “But to go into this world of where everything is larger than life - even to this day, it’s still larger than life for them where everywhere she goes or whatever she does or she puts on something, it sells out. There are paparazzi in the corners. I wanted to be a safe place - not only for her, but you know, there are many people who don’t have a name or are not a part of a royal family who just need somebody to be there for them.”
Harry and Meghan even went on to stay in Perry’s house when they first made the move to California in 2020 after making their decision to transition away from the royal family. “Every day that they were there, I looked to see if anything’s happening online. Nothing. They don’t even know,” Perry said. “So weeks and weeks they were there. They were so happy. It was such a beautiful moment.”