There’s always buzz about the royals — especially when the more private ones, like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, share rare pictures of their family, as they did last Christmas on their holiday card. Of course, the Christmas card is a yearly tradition in the royal family, so that wasn’t the surprising part. But for the Duke and Duchess, it was the first photo they had shared of their daughter, Lilibet, who was born six months prior in June 2021. As expected, their little one is as adorable as expected. Still, there was another detail in the holiday card we missed at the time — that has been hiding in plain sight.
The holiday card featured Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and their two kids, Archie and Lilibet — the first family photo fans got to see. Their photo share also included a touching message about 2021 and what they were looking forward to in 2022.
“This year, 2021, we welcomed our daughter, Lilibet, to the world. Archie made us a ‘Mama’ and a ‘Papa,’ and Lili made us a family,” the message said. “As we look forward to 2022, we have made donations on your behalf to several organizations that honor and protect families – from those being relocated from Afghanistan to American families in need of paid parental leave.”
While Fatherly didn’t catch the extra bit of information at the time, GoodToKnow just did. Prince Harry and Meghan’s kids don’t go the typical UK route in terms of what they call their mom and dad. Instead, they’ve opted for an American-UK blend, which is fitting.
The titles Meghan and Harry hold to their kids, that many of us can relate to, are “Mama” and “Papa” — not conventional British names, such as “mummy” and “daddy.”
Of course, there’s no one right name for our parents, and there’s often a mix of cultures and influences in the nicknames. For example, Prince Harry calls his dad, Prince Charles, “Pa,” and Prince William is “Pops” to his kids.
Meghan, whether she’s called “Mama,” “Mom,” or “Mummy,” it will always be the most important title to her. “I’ve been a waitress, an actress, a princess, a Duchess—I’ve always still just been Meghan, right?” Meghan said in her famous Oprah interview. “I’ve been clear on who I am, independent of all that stuff, and the most important title I’ll ever have is mom. I know that.”
Harry feels similarly about his role as a dad. “I love it,” he told Hoda Kotb from Today a few months ago. “I love every part of it. I’ve always wanted to be a dad. I’ve always wanted to have my own kids, and now I got two little people who I’m responsible for.”