Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have certainly made waves with their Netflix series Harry & Meghan, largely because of its focus on the British royal family and British press.
However, the show did also allow the parents to reveal the identity of their daughter’s godfather.
And while some might find their choice somewhat unexpected, there is a reasonable explanation behind the story of Lilibet’s godfather…
Harry and Meghan’s daughter, Lilibet ”Lili” Diana, became a major talking point the day she was born on June 4, 2021. Naturally, people worldwide sent their congratulations to Harry and Meghan after Lilibet’s birth. That included the Royal Family and all of its members.
Prince William and Kate Middleton wrote: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan, and Archie.”
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The name ‘Lilibet’ was a homage to Queen Elizabeth, who herself was called “Lilibet” as a toddler. It was first used by then-Princess Elizabeth because she couldn’t pronounce her own name correctly.
The Queen’s grandfather, King George V, used to call her “Lilibet.” As reported by The Guardian, the name then stuck; she was called Lilibet by the innermost circle of her family, including her late husband, Prince Philip.
Though Harry and Meghan’s newborn daughter is named Lilibet, she will be known as “Lili.”
Lilibet is the goddaughter of actor and superstar movie producer Tyler Perry.
Some may find that choice somewhat unexpected, but there is a reasonable explanation for Tyler being Lilibet’s godfather.
In episode six of the Netflix series Harry and Meghan, both Markle and Perry share the history that led to the famous filmmaker becoming such an important person to the family.
Tyler Perry hosted Meghan and Harry upon their arrival in the U.S. The couple had just left Canada and were in the midst of leaving their roles in the royal family.
While in Vancouver Island, they had begun to lose their security teams and had to leave the country. According to Elle, Perry had sent Markle a letter before her marriage to the prince, troubled by the drama that had been shrouding her father, Thomas Markle.
“You know I’m not a royal watcher. I don’t really pay attention to a lot of stuff, but I saw something about her father,” Perry explains in the series.
“I found it to be hurtful if he were my father. And I couldn’t even imagine this woman finding the man that she loved, the man of her dreams and him being a prince, and then to walk into all of that madness and need the security of family and then have, you know, your father do some horrible things.”
“When my life changed and success started to come, family members became different people. And I know how hurtful and how horrible it can be,” Perry continued.
“I immediately empathized with her. This was before the wedding, and I sent her a note, just praying for her to just be able to move through it and hold on, and let her know that everything in her life had prepared her for this moment or so I thought.”
Meghan contributes in the episode, discussing her and Harry leaving Canada:
“That’s where Tyler came into the picture. I’d never met him before. He sent me a letter before the wedding just saying he was praying for me. And that if I ever need anything, he would be there. Months and months and months went by. And then one day when we were in Canada, I had called him.
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“Finally, after years at that point, first time we ever spoke, and I was just a wreck. I was just crying and crying,” she says. “Sometimes it’s easier to just open up to someone who knows nothing at all. And that was that moment with me and Tyler.”
Explaining the phone call, Perry says, “I could hear the fear. It was palpable. I mean I could hear it. So I asked her, what was she afraid of? And she took a deep breath, and she started listing the things, ‘I’m afraid of…’ And I said to her, every one of your fears are valid….She was afraid of them destroying her or going crazy or them making her think she was crazy.”
In his interviews, he relates the situation with the palace to abuse, explaining that he is able to recognize the signs because of his own mother’s abuse.
In the hands of the palace, Perry elaborates, both members of the couple were abused by the royal family:
“To use the institution to try and do all the things a batterer would do, like here’s what we’re going to do, we’re gonna cut off the money. We’re gonna not leave you security. We’re gonna do all those things to make you comply and come back. And for the both of them to have the wherewithal to say ‘I don’t give a damn if it’s the palace. I’m out of here.’ I applauded that.”
So, Perry allowed them to move into his big home.
They all grew close, with Meghan even caught on camera speaking to Perry after the airing of Harry’s infamous Oprah interview.
Perry explained that there was more than most know left unsaid in that interview.
In his episode on the docuseries, Perry eventually discusses the call he got from the couple asking him to be their daughter’s godfather. Typically, she says, their phone calls would be light or silly. But, with this call:
“… they were pretty serious on the phone. I go, ‘Okay, what’s going on?’ And they said, ‘Well, we’d like for you to be Lili’s godfather.’ I go, ‘Whoa.’ I had to take a minute to take that in. And I thought, ‘I’d be honored. I’d be absolutely honored.’ And I got off the phone, took it all in, and then I called them back. I go ‘Uh, hold on a second. Does this mean we got to go over there and do all of that in the church with them and figure all that out? ‘Cause I don’t want to do that. Maybe we can do a little private ceremony here and let that be that, and if you have to do it there, then it’s okay.’”
In the show, Harry also talks about his daughter and likens her to his late mother, the beloved Princess Diana:
“I think at the moment I see a lot of my wife in Archie, and I see a lot of my mom in Lili,” he says in the doc. “She’s very Spencer-like. She’s got the same blue eyes.”
In March 2023, Lilibet was christened at the family’s home in Montecito, California – some people claim that godfather Tyler Perry was the man behind the decision to christen Lilibet at home.
Lilibet Diana, who turns two in June, was christened by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor. Her name is now Princess Lilibet Diana – as Harry and Meghan, in a statement, said they believe the princess title is her “birthright.”
“The children’s titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became monarch. This matter has been settled for some time in alignment with Buckingham Palace,” a spokesman for the couple said.
The christening occurred privately at the Sussexes’ home in Montecito, California, with around 20 to 30 people in attendance, as reported by the Mirror. According to Daily Mail, Tyler Perry took a private jet from his home in Atlanta to be a part of the ceremony. He also brought a 10-person gospel choir with him.