Queen Elizabeth Was 'Supportive' of Prince Harry Using Lilibet Name for Daughter: Couple's Spokesperson
On Wednesday, a Buckingham Palace source reportedly told the BBC that Harry did not consult with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth for permission to use her private family nickname, Lilibet, for his daughter. The source was quoted in a report on the BBC Radio 4's flagship Today program that she was "never asked" about the couple's desire to use the name.
But a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex denied the source's claim, telling PEOPLE in a statement, "The Duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement, in fact his grandmother was the first family member he called. During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honor. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name."
The name Lilibet was lovingly used by Queen Elizabeth's father King George VI, who once said of his two daughters, "Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy." It was a pet name used by other family members, most notably her late husband Prince Philip, and it is thought her elderly cousins like Princess Alexandra still use the name.
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor — the younger sister to the couple's 2-year-old son Archie — was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz.
In addition to paying tribute to Harry's grandmother the Queen, Lilibet — who the couple will call "Lili" — has a poignant middle name in honor of Harry's late mother, Princess Diana. The name Lili also serves as a loving nod to Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, who gave Meghan the childhood nickname "Flower."
For more on the arrival of Lilibet Diana, pick up a copy of PEOPLE on newsstands on Friday.
When Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, announced the happy news of their daughter's arrival on Sunday, they explained in a statement, "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."
Harry and Meghan's daughter, who has already made history in her first week as the first child of senior members of the royal family to be born in America, had a very important meeting on the books after her birth — an introduction to her namesake, the Queen via a video call.
According to a source in this week's issue of PEOPLE, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, "were very excited and couldn't wait to share that their daughter arrived" as soon as they returned home from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, not far from the family's home in Montecito, California.
Following the news of Lili's birth on Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared a personal message to Meghan and Harry.
"We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili," they wrote on their official social media account, alongside a maternity photo of Meghan and Harry with son Archie, 2. In the sweet snap, Archie snuggles into his mom's shoulder, as a barefoot Harry embraces his wife.
"Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie," added Kate, 39, and William, 38.
The couple also received a warm message from the Queen and the rest of the royal family.
"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," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement.