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11 surprising facts about Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet's life in sunny California

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's children live near their grandmother Doria Ragland

Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
June 5, 2024
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are parents to two children, Prince Archie, age five, and Princess Lilibet, three, and the family live in the celebrity enclave of Montecito, California.

The royal family of four live a wholesome outdoorsy life, enjoying time together in their vast garden, and Harry and Meghan are known to prioritise spending quality time with their children.

The Sussexes don't often speak about Archie and Lilibet – who was named after the late Queen Elizabeth II – however, rare interviews have revealed some charming details about their young son and daughter.

WATCH: Archie and Lilibet's cutest moments

Read on to learn some little-known facts about the Sussex kids…

Lilibet is just like Princess Diana

In their Netflix docu-series, where the Sussexes opened their doors to a TV crew, Harry and Meghan revealed that their daughter resembles her late grandmother, Princess Diana.

Baby Lilibet Diana on her first birthday
Baby Lilibet Diana on her first birthday

"I think, at the moment, I see a lot of my wife in Archie and I see a lot of my mum [Princess Diana] in Lili. She's very Spencer-like. She's got the same blue eyes…," Harry said.

"Blue, blue, blue eyes," Meghan added, with Harry sharing: "Sort of like golden reddish hair."

Diana, Princess of Wales at Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospital in Harrow, Middlesex© Getty
Diana, Princess of Wales

Archie loves being a big brother

Meghan has previously opened up to talk show host Ellen Degeneres, who asked the royal mother: "Is he a good big brother?" to which the Duchess replied, "He loves being a big brother!"

She continued: "Someone told H (Harry) and I that when you have one kid it's a hobby, and two children is parenting. Suddenly we realised, oh right, everyone talks about what it's like for the second child, but no one talks about the adjustment for the first child when the second one comes along. So, I think they have that moment of, 'Oh, this is fun...oh, this is how it is now'."

meghan markle prince archie princess lilibet montecito home© Instagram
Meghan and their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet
WATCH: Harry and Meghan hold Lilibet’s hands as they walk through their beautiful garden

Lilibet loves singing

On their recent three-day trip to Nigeria, the Sussexes visited the Lightway Academy in Abuja, a school supported by Harry and Meghan's Archewell Foundation.

There they met a group of kindergarteners who danced and sang songs for them, and the royals shared a wonderful insight into life in their family. Harry asked the children: "Is singing and dancing your favourite class?"

"That's Lili's favourite class," Meghan said of their daughter, who turned three on June 4. "Maybe it's all the jumping around."

Baby Lilibet sleeping
Baby Lilibet sleeping

Archie to start rugby

In an interview with former rugby league player and coach Ellery Hanley, Harry shared how he wants to teach Archie how to play rugby.

Harry and Archie wearing beanie hats in Canada© Instagram / @SussexRoyal
Harry and Meghan loved their time in Canada with Archie

He said: "What I need is a few mini rugby balls that I can then get Archie involved with the game because at the moment it's impossible to find any."

Harry added: "But I've got a little bit of space outside which we're fortunate enough to have, so I need to get him playing some rugby league."

Meghan wearing black dress with Archie lying on baby bump© Netflix
A tender moment with Archie during Meghan's pregnancy with Lilibet
WATCH: Prince Archie excitedly runs in heartwarming family clip

The Sussexes love hiking

Hiking is a popular pastime in the Hollywood hills and it seems the Sussexes are big fans too.

In 2021, the brother of Prince William told Oprah Winfrey about his family's love of nature: "To have outdoor space where I can go for walks with Archie and we go for walks as a family and with the dogs – you know, we go on hikes or go down to the beach, which is so close."

Prince Harry and Meghan with their children© Netflix
Prince Harry and Meghan with their children

Archie learns to give back

Harry and Meghan are making a conscious effort to ensure their children think of those less fortunate than themselves.

A 2022 profile on Meghan in The Cut explained: "They are teaching Archie that some people live in big houses, some in small, and that some are in between homes. They made kits to pass out with water and peanut-butter crackers and granola bars. 'I ate one!' Archie contributes."

Prince Harry in a blue suit and Meghan Markle in a white overcoat© Karwai Tang
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend an official photocall to announce their engagement

Archie is generous at school

It sounds like Archie is a super kind little boy, as according to the interview in The Cut, he likes to share with his fellow preschool classmates.

The interview shared: "Archie is just the cheerful kid who brings a week's worth of freshly picked fruit for his fellow classmates and enjoys playing a 'roaring' game at recess."

Archie in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's garden at their Montecito home© Netflix
Archie in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's garden at their Montecito home

Sussex kids to start school later

While in the UK, children start school at age four, in America their formal education starts later at age five or six. 

Princess Lilibet learns to walk
Princess Lilibet learns to walk

It's not yet known where Archie and Lilibet will be educated, but according to Montecito resident Richard Mineards, Harry and Meghan are within the catchment area of good schools in California.

He told HELLO!'s A Right Royal Podcast: "We have very good schools, which are not like England public schools but they're state schools. And we have a very good one called Cold Spring School which has got great ratings and that's in their catchment area."

Princess Lilibet crawls in the garden
Princess Lilibet crawls in the garden

The children's playhouse has a thatched roof

Archie and Lilibet are fortunate enough to have their own playhouse in their 7.4 acre garden that comes complete with a thatched roof and stable doors!

Harry and Meghan shared a close-up of the cute house back in 2020 when they released their festive family Christmas card. However, it seems that the playhouse was actually already in the garden when the family moved in.

Harry and Meghan's 2020 Christmas card© The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Harry and Meghan's 2020 Christmas card

The original listing on US property website, Zillow, read: "The estate sits on an approximate 7.38 acre site," and goes on to reference the "children's cottage" as well as "tiered rose gardens, tall Italian cypress trees, blooming lavender, century old olive trees, a tennis court, tea house, and a pool".

 Lili and Archie have their own playground

Imagine having a playground for your children in your own garden! That's the reality for lucky Lili and Archie.

Prince Harry and Meghan's garden has a hill which is perfect for water fun© Netflix
Prince Harry and Meghan's garden has a hill which is perfect for water fun

Photographs taken from former listings of the home showed two slides, a climbing frame, a tightrope, a helter-skelter, and two types of climbing wall.

Design wise, each feature follows the green, blue and yellow colour scheme, including a green tarmac floor. 

Archie's cute tree ritual

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's driveway© Netflix
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's driveway

Meghan previously told The Cut of a special moment when she and Harry first viewed their house, and it's the sweetest anecdote.

She recalled: "One of the first things my husband saw when we walked around the house was those two palm trees. See how they’re connected at the bottom? He goes, 'My love, it’s us.'"  

The devoted mother went on to reveal that Archie greets the trees every day. "He says, 'Hi, Momma. Hi, Papa,'" Meghan said of her son's sweet ritual.

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