Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly considering a lawsuit against the BBC for reporting that the royal couple failed to inform Queen Elizabeth II that they were naming their new daughter Lilibet, the childhood nickname given to the monarch.
What Happened: The BBC cited an anonymous “Palace source” in a story that raised the speculation that the couple, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, sprung the baby’s name on the queen without advance notice.
“The source disputed reports in the wake of the announcement of the name that Prince Harry and Meghan had spoken to the Queen before the birth,” the BBC reported, adding that a spokesperson for the couple denied that allegation.
“The duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement – in fact his grandmother was the first family member he called,” the spokesperson said. “During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honor. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name.”
What’s Next: The Daily Mail reported Prince Harry, through his law firm Schillings, has threatened to take legal action against the BBC for filing what he claimed to be a false and defamatory story.
However, the Daily Mail speculated the Palace source cited by the BBC might a senior official, adding that it would be “considered almost unprecedented for the monarch not to sign off on quotes from senior officials, even if they are anonymous briefings.”
The royal couple have been highly critical of the U.K. media and cited their coverage as being among the primary reasons they stepped away from royal duties and relocated to the U.S., where they have pursued business opportunities with companies including Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Baby Lilibet was born Sunday in Santa Barbara, California, marking a rare occasion when a member of the royal family was born outside of the U.K.
U.K. libel laws are much stricter in comparison to U.S. laws. Last month, Prince Harry generated criticism in an interview when he questioned why the U.S. didn’t follow the legal mandates found across the Atlantic.
“I believe we live in an age now where we’ve got certain elements of the media redefining what privacy means,” he said. “I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment as I sort of understand it, but it is bonkers.”
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.)
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