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How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have sparked a comeback in vintage baby names

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave their daughter an extremely sentimental moniker

meghan markle with archie harrison
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
June 8, 2021
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex thrilled royal fans with their joyous baby news on Sunday, revealing they had welcomed the birth of their first daughter Lilibet 'Lily' Diana Mountbatten-Windsor on Friday 4 June.

READ: Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's baby announcement is a royal first

Prince Harry, now a proud father-of-two, not only paid a touching tribute to his late mother, Princess Diana, but also chose the name Lili in honour of his grandmother, the Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet.

WATCH: Meghan Markle's baby bump evolution

Despite alternative monikers like 'Allegra' and 'Jeannine' taking the top ranks for the bookmakers' favourites, 'Diana' reigned at the top spot of royal baby name bets, given its extremely sentimental value to both Harry and the royal family.

RELATED: Prince Harry and Meghan announce baby name - the meaning behind it

SEE: The Queen shares statement following birth of Harry and Meghan's daughter

Researchers from the family history platform MyHeritage, have opened up their archives to reveal that Harry and Meghan Markle are not alone in their choice to rehash a more dated name, with traditional baby monikers seeing a resurgence in popularity in recent years.  

meghan markle prince harry© Photo: Getty Images

The couple welcomed their first daughter, Lilibet Diana

Lilibet joins other new royal additions that have been given old monikers. Princess Eugenie’s son, born in February, was named August after Queen Victoria’s husband whose birth name was Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanual. While a month later, Zara Tindall gave her son the name Lucas Philip in a touching nod to her now late grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Sarah Vanunu, Director of Public Relations at MyHeritage said: “As more people research their family’s history, it is now much easier to look back and find out which names were important in your family’s past. This could be a big driver for the recent boom in historical baby names, as new parents look to connect their children with ancestors."

prince harry and meghan with archie© Photo: Getty Images

The couple already have a son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

According to Census data from the 1800s, many retro names have been given a revival – including the most popular names when records began in 1780 were Mary, John, William and Elizabeth.

Alfred, Bertie, Frank, Fred, Leonard, and Sidney all saw a 21st Century peak in 2012, whilst some names have eclipsed their original heyday. Violet and Elsie saw higher rankings in 2019 than they did 200 years ago.

MORE: What Archie's first word says about Prince Harry and Meghan's parenting

Little Lili is the first of the Queen's great-grandchildren to be born outside the UK, not to mention the first royal baby who has had the honour of sharing their first name with her Majesty. Her cousin, Princess Charlotte, has Elizabeth as the first of her middle names, however, with Diana as her second.

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