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Natalie and Zafar Rushdie introduce their second daughter and reveal adorable baby name - exclusive

The singer and her husband welcomed their second child last month at London's Chelsea and Westminster hospital

Laura Benjamin
News Director
June 2, 2024
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There is a definite sense of controlled chaos in Natalie and Zafar Rushdie’s west London house when HELLO! goes to meet the new addition to their family. While Zaf rushes around making sure everyone is comfortable as he gets the couple’s three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Rose ready for nursery, his wife serenely feeds their newborn baby daughter - who we can exclusively reveal is named Lily Saloni Franciszka - as their beloved dog Pickle sits patiently by her side. It’s no wonder that jazz singer Natalie is never happier than when she is at home with her babies. “Without sounding twee, I feel like I was meant to be a mother,” she tells us during this exclusive shoot and interview. “Zaf and I went out  together for the first time yesterday and I was like: ‘Can we go home now?’ I just like being here with my babies. I've always been very family orientated and I feel so content.”

Natalie and Zafar with their two daughter, Rose and Lily© HELLO!
Natalie and Zafar with their two daughter, Rose and Lily

Their daughter’s first name was partly inspired by a romantic gesture, while the middle ones came from their joint heritage. “After our first date in 2010, Zaf sent me huge bunch of lilies. So it was always on our contender list,” Natalie tells us. Zafar, the son of celebrated author Sir Salman Rushdie, continues: “I'm half Indian, so felt it would be nice to give a nod to my family background and we both love the name Saloni.” Franciszka comes from Natalie’s beloved grandmother, who bears the same name and is from Poland. “She turns 96 this year and is the most inspirational woman I know so we wanted to give a little nod to her with that name and spelling.”

Lily made her way into the world at 7.39am on April 19 at the Kensington Wing – part of London’s Chelsea and Westminster hospital - weighing in at an impressive 9.8lbs. She was delivered by planned caesarean-section at 38 weeks, bringing to an end a difficult pregnancy for Natalie, who suffered from sickness and   bleeding throughout.

The couple welcomed HELLO! into their West London home© HELLO!
The couple welcomed HELLO! into their West London home

Thankfully, the delivery went smoothly, with Natalie choosing the same jazz playlist she made for Rose’s birth. Lily arrived to the sounds of Etta James and tears from her mother. “It was really a very positive experience,” she says. “When Lily was born I cried because I was so happy and relieved she was here and everyone was fine.”

Zaf, 44, the founder of PR and events company The Green Room, was calm throughout. “You have to trust in the doctors and their skills, don’t you, as it’s they who know what they're doing... certainly not me! It was an amazing privilege just to be able to be there, really special.” 

Being based more locally, Natalie’s mother and her sisters have been able to meet Lily a few times now and Zafar’s New York-based father Sir Salman has met his newest granddaughter too following an arduous book tour for his recent memoir Knife, which also recounts the attack in New York in 2022 which left him blinded in one eye. And he has been kept up-to-date with plenty of pictures since her birth. “His book came out just two days before Lily was born, so he's been working incredibly hard on tour for the last month or so.”

Lily's bedroom features a gorgeous wallpaper by Sanderson, a chair by il Tutto, a rocking horse by Laura Ashley - Mamas & Papas, toy box by My 1st Years and furniture by Mamas & Papas© HELLO!
Lily's bedroom features gorgeous wallpaper by Sanderson, a chair by il Tutto, a rocking horse by Laura Ashley - Mamas & Papas, toy box by My 1st Years and furniture by Mamas & Papas

News of Lily’s arrival was a joyous occasion for the Rushdies and follows an incredible recovery by Sir Salman from that brutal attack. Zaf continues. “I think anytime a baby joins a family is really a joyous and exciting thing and something to celebrate and we certainly have and will continue to.”

To read the full exclusive, buy this week's HELLO! magazine, out Monday 3 June.

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