Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their second baby to the world last week for anyone who may not have heard. Joining the Sussexes, including big brother Archie, a baby girl named Lilibet Diana, or Lili for short. After the year these two have had – a miscarriage, a lot of public drama with their family, and their big move to the United States – a new baby to love on is a welcome change of pace. But, because of course, people (AKA Meghan Markle-haters) are losing their minds over Lilibet, and controversy has begun already. Here’s what’s going on.
On Sunday, June 6, an official announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed they welcomed their daughter to the world on June 4. Their announcement included the baby’s name – Lilibet Diana – a nod to her great-grandmother, the Queen, and her late grandmother, Princess Diana. And almost immediately, the racist tweets began.
According to HuffPo, journalist Julie Burchill tweeted, “What a missed opportunity. They could have called it Georgina Floydina!” which references George Floyd, an American Black man murdered by police last year, after the birth of Lilibet. Not long after that tweet, Burchill was fired. But she wasn’t the only one.
A prominent lawyer in the UK was also suspended pending review over a racist tweet discussing the newest Sussexes’ name. Joanna Toch, a family law barrister who works at Family Law Cafe (FLC), tweeted her thoughts on the newborn baby’s name using an “offensive joke.” She later apologized, saying it was a joke, but that didn’t save her from consequences.
“FLC considers her comments as offensive, unacceptable and highly contradictory to the inclusive manner in which FLC always has and will continue to work with members of all communities in managing the challenges of matrimonial and family disputes,” the company’s statement read.
These are only two of likely thousands of messages full of racist hate centered on a little girl who hasn’t even been around for a week. But, given the racism that Meghan has endured since it was made official that she was dating Prince Harry, including, allegedly, from inside the royal family, it is not surprising. And the fact that it’s not surprising is another level of disgusting.
Few can forget, too, when Archie was born, and prominent UK radio shock-jock Danny Baker racistly tweeted a photo of a chimpanzee to with the caption “Royal baby leaves hospital,” or the alleged internal Royal conversations where family members were concerned about how “dark” Archie would be. It’s unfortunate to see these so-called “jokes” playing themselves out again at the expense of an innocent baby and her parents.
Adding to the racism coming from the UK media and personalities is the ongoing need to pit the Sussexes against the other members of the royal family.
The BBC reported palace insiders to say the Queen, whose nickname Lilibet has been hers since she was a toddler, was not told her latest great-grandchild would be named after her, and that she found out when the rest of the world did. According to Prince Harry, the BBC’s report was full of lies, so he brought in his legal team to issue a letter accusing the BBC of “false and defamatory” reporting over the story regarding their daughter’s name.
So much drama where there doesn’t need to be, and racism is no small part of it all. Whether you like someone or not, have issues with them, or they’ve done you wrong, there is only one response to the news of a new baby entering a family. It’s not to stir the pot, grow the divide, or point fingers. It’s one word: “congratulations.”