Tyler Perry Reveals He Is Godfather to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Daughter Lilibet Diana

Tyler Perry opens up about his close relationship with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their kids in Harry & Meghan, streaming in full on Netflix now

Tyler Perry is revealing a very important title for the first time: godfather to Lilibet Diana.

The filmmaker, 53, recalled in the final episode of the Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle asked him to accept the role in 2021, after Lili, their second child, was born.

Perry said Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, "were pretty serious on the phone" when they called to ask, when usually their chats are more lighthearted.

"I go, 'Okay, what's going on?' They said, 'Well, we'd like for you to be Lili's godfather.' I go, 'Whoa,' " Perry continued. "I had to take a minute to take that in."

For more on the Royals, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

"And I thought, 'I'd be honored. I'd absolutely be honored,' " he added.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

Harry & Meghan Netflix Documentary
Tyler Perry. Netflix

After getting off the phone with the couple and thinking about what they had asked, Perry realized his agreement came with a bit of a condition.

"I called them back and go, 'Uh, hold on a second — does this mean we gotta go over [to the U.K.] 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 U.S.] and let that be that, and if you have to do it there, then that's okay.' "

Harry & Meghan Netflix Documentary - Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry; Lilibet Diana. Netflix

Earlier in the episode, Perry said he first got acquainted with Meghan after he sent her a letter ahead of her wedding saying he was praying for her, amid the "hurtful" controversy surrounding her and her strained relationship with her dad, Thomas Markle.

"I couldn't even imagine this woman finding the man that she loved, the man of her dreams, and him being a prince, and then to walk into all of that madness and need the security of family and then have your father do some horrible things," Perry said.

"When my life changed and success started to come, family members became different people, and I know how hurtful and horrible it can be," he said, adding that he "immediately empathized" with Meghan.

RELATED VIDEO: Tyler Perry Opens Up About Letting Meghan and Prince Harry Stay in His House During a "Difficult Time"

In the series, both Meghan and Perry recalled their first conversation on the phone years later, during which Meghan cried while opening up about how she felt she was treated in and by the media.

"To tell Meghan that I felt her feelings were valid, [that] hurt," he said. "I didn't want to have to say that to her — I didn't want her to feel that. But I didn't want to lie to her. She was afraid of them destroying her, or going crazy, or them making her think she was crazy."

The Jazzman's Blues director said he recognized "symptoms" of "abuse," having witnessed his own mother being abused.

"This woman was abused. And so was he," Perry said of Meghan and Harry's treatment by the palace. "To use the institution to try and do all the things that a batterer would do — like, 'Here's what we're gonna do: We're gonna cut off the money, we're gonna not leave you security, we're gonna do all those things to make you comply and come back.' "

"And for the both of them to have the wherewithal to say, 'I don't give a damn if it's the palace. I'm out of here.' I applauded that," Perry added.

Harry & Meghan Netflix Documentary
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Netflix

Meghan and Harry didn't have a plan for somewhere to stay where they would feel safe with their then 1-year-old son Archie Harrison when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020.

Perry then offered them refuge at his property in Los Angeles, Calif. "You said, 'Stay as long as you need to.' We said, 'Maybe we just stay forever,' " Harry told Perry.

"It was bliss, because no one knew we were there," the prince continued.

"It's secret, so at least during COVID-19 we can take the dogs for a walk and have a little slice of normal life," Meghan is later heard saying from behind the camera during a home video of the couple doing just that.

All episodes of Harry & Meghan are now streaming on Netflix.

Related Articles