The late Queen was “as angry as I’d ever seen her” after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced she had given her blessing to name their daughter Lilibet, a senior palace source has said.
Buckingham Palace then “rebuffed” calls from the couple to issue a statement “propping up their version of events”, it is claimed.
A new biography of the King, by Robert Hardman, describes palace staff as being “interested” in Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, for “what had been omitted”.
One member of staff, he said, “privately recalled that the Queen had been ‘as angry as I’d ever seen her’ in 2021 after the Sussexes announced that she had given them her blessing to call their baby daughter ‘Lilibet’, the Queen’s childhood nickname.”
“The couple then fired off warnings of legal action against anyone who dared to suggest otherwise, as the BBC had done.
“However, when the Sussexes tried to co-opt the Palace into propping up their version of events, they were rebuffed.
“Once again, it was a case of ‘recollections may vary’ – the late Queen’s reaction to the Oprah Winfrey interview – as far as Her Majesty was concerned.
“Those noisy threats of legal action evaporated and the libel action against the BBC never materialised.”
The book also quotes a friend of the King saying he is “extremely sad” about the situation with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but that is now accompanied by a “sense of exasperation, that he has done what he can and now he is King, there are many more things to think about”.
According to the source, the King has “tried listening” but is now resolved to “just getting on with my life” while giving Prince Harry “space”.
‘Lowest of the low’
Hardman further claims that the Prince of Wales believed a comment in Spare about royal men who marry someone who “would fit the mould”, widely interpreted as referring to his own wife Catherine, was the “lowest of the low”.
The Archewell announcement of Lilibet’s birth in June 2021 reads: “Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet.”
The couple’s spokesman told The Telegraph: “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 honour. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name.”
Shortly after the announcement, the BBC reported a palace source saying that the Queen “was not asked by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about naming their daughter Lilibet”.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused the BBC of libel, instructing lawyers to tell media organisations the claim was “false and defamatory”.
When asked by The Telegraph, the Palace declined to deny suggestions that the Queen was “never asked”.
A source suggested that the Queen was “told” about the name after the baby was born, rather than her permission being sought in advance.