Meghan Markle and Prince Harry paid tribute to both the Queen and Princess Diana with their daughter’s name, but it seems there’s also a nod to the Duchess’ enchanted aunt.
The Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, welcomed Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor at 11:40 a.m. Friday, June 4, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California.
She was named in honor of the late mother of the Duke of Sussex, Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as the Queen, whose nickname – used by Prince Philip and her grandfather King George V – was Lilibet.
But the name Lili, who the Sussexes like to call their daughter, also has special meaning for Meghan, whose bewitching aunt was Lillie Ragland, a successful real estate agent, who died when Meghan was 22.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry paid tribute to both the Queen and Princess Diana with their daughter’s name, but it seems there’s also a subtle nod to the Duchess’ enchanted aunt
The name Lili, whom the Sussexes like to call their daughter, also has special meaning for Meghan, whose bewitching aunt was Lillie Ragland, a successful real estate agent, who died when Meghan was 22 (center photo, with her husband WEilliam)
DailyMail.com previously revealed how Lillie’s husband William Demont Evans Jr was a black baseball player nicknamed “Happy” in the 1920s and 1930s, before Jackie Robinson finally broke the color bar and desegregated the game.
Evans was one of the nation’s black stars, playing with the Homestead Grays when the team from just outside of Pittsburgh was most successful in 1931 and 1932, winning that year’s equivalent of the World Series for the Negro Leagues.
After retiring from baseball, Evans moved to Los Angeles with his wife Lillie, who was born Ragland — and she would become a housekeeper for Bette Davis before embarking on a successful real estate career.
Evans’ grandson Bill previously said, “Lillie became the first black real estate agent, male or female, so she was a pioneer.
William ‘Happy’ Evans was a hugely successful baseball player whose great-great-grandniece of wife Lillie is now the Duchess of Sussex
Evans is pictured center back with several of his grandchildren, as well as Lille Evans (pictured right on the sofa) in an undated photo
“After Bill retired from baseball, he got into the aerospace industry. I think he was an inspector.”
Before that, however, Meghan’s aunt worked for one of the greatest Hollywood stars of all time, Bette Davis.
In his 1930-31 book on the Homestead Grays, black baseball historian Phil Dixon wrote, “After his retirement from baseball, Evans ‘moved to Los Angeles, California, at which point his wife became a maid for actress Bette Davis.”
With the fruits of her successful career, she also gave back and donated a swimming pool to her local community to keep local children off the streets.
After her death, Lillie left her home in Los Angeles to her cousin, Meghan’s grandfather Alvin Ragland, who in turn left it to his daughter Doria (pictured)
After her death, Lillie left her Los Angeles home to her cousin, Meghan’s grandfather Alvin Ragland, who in turn left it to his daughter Doria.
Bill also revealed that Meghan and Lillie had similarities, explaining, “Lillie and Meghan, wow, two pioneers who knocked down walls, which are for the people, who just want to give – loving spirits. I see the same type of personality from my grandmother in Meghan and God bless her, I’m really proud of her.”
The name Lili also has special meaning for Meghan and Doria, as the Duchess was given the childhood nickname ‘Flower’ by her adoring mother.
In a blog post on her now-defunct lifestyle site, The Tig, Meghan shared her nicknames and wrote, “Meg, MM, M&M and Flower (which my mom has been telling me since I was little),” People.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry paid tribute to both the Queen and Princess Diana by naming their daughter, but it seems there’s also a nod to the Duchess’ mother, Doria Ragland (pictured together)
Journalist Afua Adom also emphasized that Baby Sussex’s name was ‘not just about the Queen’s name’ when he appeared on Good Morning Britain today.
Along with royal biographer Angela Levin, who was critical of the nickname, the journalist said: ‘Lilibet is such a beautiful name, it’s such a cute name. It’s not just about being named after the Queen.
“It’s also a bit of a nod to Meghan’s mother Doria, because Meghan’s mother’s nickname for her is flower, which is why we brought Lili along for Lilibet.”
But host Susanna Reid wasn’t convinced, saying, “It’s a bit long-winded.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, in May 2019 when they show their son to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle after his birth
Sweet family nickname for Queen who inspired Harry and Meghan’s name for their daughter
Lilibet – the nickname of the Queen’s family – was first used when Princess Elizabeth was just a toddler and unable to pronounce her own name properly.
The Duke of Edinburgh also called his wife Lilibet and wrote to his mother-in-law after their marriage: “Lilibet is the one ‘thing’ in the world that is absolutely real to me.”
Harry and Meghan’s new daughter will be known as Lili.
Since Meghan and Harry moved to California last year, the Duchess of Sussex has spent more time with her mother, who lives nearby in Los Angeles.
It is thought that the grandmother regularly visits her grandson Archie and his parents in Montecito.
On Sunday, the delighted Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced: ‘On June 4 we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili.
“She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we have felt from all over the world.
“Thank you for your continued kindness and support at this very special time for our family.”
Lili – who is eighth in line to the throne – was born at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, a private facility where births cost up to £20,000.
Omid Scobie, a journalist who is a favorite of Harry and Meghan, tweeted that the couple “wouldn’t share a photo at this time” of Lili and that they were now on “parental leave.”
He said the couple’s office encouraged anyone who wanted to send gifts to support organizations working for women and girls.