When I heard the name of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s newest addition to their family, like most White British people, I fell all the way out.
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
I was giddy. In contrast, many White Britons were seething and considered it audacious of the duke and duchess of Sussex to name their daughter after Prince Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, and his grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen.
This is in part based on British White supremacy and its byproduct of anti-Black racism. In the U.K., it manifests itself in the idea that baby Lilibet’s Black heritage delegitimizes her ancestral rights to claim to any part of her royal identity. This includes her bearing the names of her grandmother and great-grandmother.
This rebuke of Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor does not change the facts. She is the queen’s 11th great-grandchild and younger sister to Archie, the duke and duchess of Sussex’s first child, who is now two years old.
The name Lilibet is the queen’s nickname. It was how the then-Princess Elizabeth used to say her name when she was a toddler and couldn’t pronounce it properly. Lilibet became what her grandfather, King George V, would affectionately call her. “Lilibet is my pride. Margaret is my joy,” the king was quoted as saying.
The name came to be used by close relatives, including the queen’s late husband, the duke of Edinburgh, and she signed her name as Lilibet on the funeral wreath for one of her closest friends, Earl Mountbatten.
Baby Lilibet’s cousin Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince William (Prince Harry’s elder brother) also has Diana and Elizabeth as her middle names. There was no inimical furor when she was named after her grandmother, great-grandmother, and Queen Charlotte, the first Black/Biracial member of the royal family.
The only difference here is that Baby Lilibet is actually Black/biracial. This reality…