Princess Dianas butler gobsmacked Queen approved inappropriate Lilibet name
Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell has revealed he was "gobsmacked" when he heard Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had named their daughter Lili.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed Lilibet 'Lili' Diana into the world on Friday, June 4, with the new arrival weighing a healthy 7lb 11oz.
In line with royal protocol, Prince Harry called his grandmother the Queen following the birth, and the couple are said to have asked Her Majesty for her blessing to use the name and insist that had she not approved they would not have used it.
But now, former royal butler Paul Burrell has said that in his view, he would not have expected the Queen to have approved, given what the pet name means to her.
He told Closer: "I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard the baby’s name.
"Having worked alongside the Queen for over a decade, I know just how deeply personal, private and precious that name is to her.
"No one would dare refer to her as that – it was only for those closest to her.
"I know Harry has said the Queen did approve – but that totally surprises me. I don’t doubt Harry and Meghan both believe it’s a tremendous tribute to her.
"But I know it’s such an intimate name and not one that she’d ever want to be used generally. I think it’s very inappropriate."
The former royal butler also said he feels sorry there was no tribute in Lili's name for Meghan's mum Doria Ragland, although it has been reported that Meghan also had a grandmother named Lilibet.
Previous reports suggested Her Majesty, 95, had already given her blessing for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to use the name for their daughter before she was born.
Other reports have also suggested that Harry told the Queen years ago that he wanted to name his future daughter after her affectionate nickname – before he had even met Meghan.
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After reports questioning whether this did happen emerged, Journalist Omid Scobie, who wrote the book Finding Freedom on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back from their royal duties revealed he had been told the conversation did definitely take place
He wrote in a tweet: "A Sussex source says that the Queen was the first family Harry called after Lilibet’s birth and during that conversation, he shared the couple’s hope of naming their daughter in her honor.
"Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name."
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He added: "Those close to Prince Harry confirm that he spoke to close family before the announcement so perhaps this report highlights just how far removed aides within the institution (who learned of the baby news alongside the rest of the world) now are from the Sussexes’ private matters."
As a young princess, the Queen struggled to pronounce her own name, Elizabeth, so resorted to saying 'Lillibet'.
But it stuck, with dad King George VI and other members of the Royal Family affectionately calling her by the nickname for years after.
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