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Harry and Meghan Celebrated Daughter Lilibet’s Third Birthday With a Small California Party

Princess Lilibet turned three on June 4, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrated their daughter’s birthday with an intimate party from the comfort of the family’s Montecito mansion.


Princess Lilibet’s first birthday. Photo: PA

In their attempts to allow Prince Archie (now five) and Princess Lilibet to grow up as private citizens in the United States, Megan and Harry have hosted closed-off birthday celebrations for the baby Sussexes ever since moving to their $14 million California home.

As with Lilibet’s second birthday, she likely enjoyed the company of close family, including Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, who plays a hands-on role in the lives of her grandchildren. The Sussexes’ Montecito neighbours include Oprah Winfrey, a close friend of the family who they trusted to navigate their bombshell interview in 2021, Gywneth Paltrow, and Orlando Bloom. Tyler Perry, Lilibet’s godfather who offered Meghan and Harry use of his home following their move to the States, may also have attended.

There were, though, no British royals present at the party. Since Meghan and Harry stepped away from their roles as working royals, the Royal Family have not publicly celebrated Archie and Lilibet’s birthdays – as is to be expected under royal protocol. The lack of (public) wellwishes for the Sussex children marks a significant change from years earlier, where Lilibet’s first birthday was celebrated by the Prince and Princess of Wales (then the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) and King Charles III and Queen Camilla (then Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall) on social media.

The Californian Princess turned one during the Sussexes’ return to the UK in 2022, where the royal family gathered to celebrate the Late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. Harry and Meghan held an ‘intimate picnic’ in the gardens of Frogmore Cottage, with reported attendees including Zara and Mike Tindall’s children, Mia, Lena and Lucas, as well as Savannah and Isla, daughters of the now-separated Peter and Autumn Phillips. Also in attendance were Charlie and Tom van Straubenzee (considered ‘second family’ to the Sussexes) and photographer Misan Harriman, who celebrated the occasion by taking a joyful photo of Lilibet.


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A post shared by Misan Harriman (@misanharriman)

Indeed, it was Harriman, a close friend of the couple, who took the official photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they announced that Meghan was pregnant with Lilibet, on Valentine’s Day 2021. Four months later, an official statement was released announcing the birth of the youngest Sussex:

‘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.’

The statement continued, revealing the touching meaning behind Harry and Meghan’s choice of name for their daughter: ‘Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.’

Prince Harry spoke movingly of the similarities between his youngest daughter and her namesake – his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. ‘I see a lot of my wife in Archie and I see a lot of my mum in Lili,’ said the Duke of Sussex in his Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan. ‘She’s very Spencer-like. She’s got the same blue eyes.’

Prince Harry with Princess Diana. Photo: Getty

The documentary provided some heartwarming family footage of the young Princess Lilibet, including a touching video of her first steps. Lilibet inherited the HRH title, alongside brother Prince Archie, after King Charles’ accession to the throne. Her parents first referred to her as ‘Princess Lilibet Diana’ in a statement celebrating her christening on 3 March 2023. By christening Lilibet at the age of 21 months, Meghan and Harry broke from royal tradition, which seems to dictate that royal babies be christened in the royal gown a few months after their birth.

On Meghan Markle’s recent trip to Nigeria, the Duchess of Sussex shared some adorable details about how quickly the young royals were growing up. While meeting with school children in Abuja, the Duchess revealed that Lilibet’s ‘favourite class’ was ‘singing and dancing’, and that Lilibet’s older brother, Archie, was turning his hand to robotics classes at school. Speaking at an event on 12 May (Mothers’ Day in the US), Meghan opened up about the difficulties of raising children while undergoing a taxing schedule of travel: ‘we are missing our children,’ she told crowds, ‘I’m missing my babies.’

Now, as the Sussexes reunite among the idyllic vistas of their California home, no doubt they are celebrating Lilibet’s third birthday with a warmth to match the Montecito sun.

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