JUNE 6, 2021
There’s another royal in town! And she’s an American citizen.
Duchess Meghan welcomed her second child at 11:40 a.m. Friday at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, according to a Sunday press release.
“It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world,” read a statement provided to USA TODAY by the couple’s representative. “Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home. … The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.”
Littlest royal’s name honors her great-grandmother, the Queen, and her late grandmother, Princess Diana
The new royal addition is named after Queen Elizabeth II, whose nickname among family is “Lilibet.” And her middle name, Diana, “was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales,” the release noted. Prince William and Duchess Kate also chose Elizabeth and Diana as middle names for their daughter, 6-year-old Princess Charlotte.
Harry and Meghan added in a statement on their website, Archewell, that their daughter is “more than we could have ever imagined and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe.”
In lieu of gifts, the couple asked well-wishers to “support or learn more about these organizations working for women and girls”: Girls Inc., Harvest Home, CAMFED or the Myna Mahila Foundation.
And the rest of the royal family congratulated the new family of four in statements issued Sunday, announcing Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince William and Duchess Kate were all “delighted with the news.”
In March, just a month after the duke and duchess of Sussex announced they were expecting, the couple revealed they were having a girl, a sister for 2-year-old Archie, during a tell-all interview with Oprah.
“Having a boy and then a girl: What more could you ask for?” Prince Harry said at the time.
An American royal? Lilibet eligible for US citizenship
The child is Queen Elizabeth II’s 11th great-grandchild, joining the royal family after Princess Eugenie’s baby, August, was born in London in February, and after Zara Phillips Tindall’s baby, Lucas, was born on the bathroom floor of her country home in March.
The child will be eighth in line to the throne, behind her brother Archie and father Harry.
Since the baby was born in the United States, she is automatically a U.S. citizen under the 14th Amendment, and thus could vote, apply for an American passport, or even run for president of the United States one day.
On Feb. 14, a spokesperson for the couple confirmed to USA TODAY that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting. The reveal had a special connection to Princess Diana: Harry’s late mother made headlines on Valentine’s Day in 1984, when she announced her second pregnancy. She gave birth to Harry on Sept. 15 of that year.
Meghan Markle suffered a miscarriage last summer
The couples’ pregnancy announcement came a few months after Meghan shared she suffered a miscarriage in July 2020.
In an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “The Losses We Share,” she gave an intimate account of her experience, describing how tragedy struck on a “morning that began as ordinarily as any other day.”
“Make breakfast. Feed the dogs. Take vitamins… Throw my hair in a ponytail before getting my son from his crib. After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp,” she wrote in the piece. “I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right. I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”
The duchess, 39, said she was sharing her story to help break the silence around an all-too-common tragedy.
“Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote. “Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
She continued, “In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”
Where Lilbet stands in the order of succession to the British throne
The Sussex children could end up having mixed citizenship depending on what they choose to do when they reach 18. Archie, born in London, is a British-born citizen but can also claim American citizenship one day through his American mother, Meghan, if he chooses.
And the new baby, while being an American citizen by birth, will be a child of a British citizen (Harry) born abroad, and could claim British citizenship when she reaches adulthood.
Since both children’s positions in the royal succession are so far down, they are unlikely to ever sit on the throne so their citizenship status is less urgent – unless he or she wants to be prime minister some day.
Courtesy/Source: This article originally appeared on USA TODAY