When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle named their daughter Lilibet, it marked the first time that any of the Queen’s descendants had used her childhood nickname. However, Lili (as she will be known) is far from the first royal baby to be named after her internationally renowned great-grandmother. We examine who bears the Queen’s name—as well as who she bears:
Elizabeth is a well-established royal surname, as evidenced by the numerals following Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth I reigned from 1558 to 1603 and, despite the fact that she had no children, the surname Elizabeth has remained popular in the royal family ever since. The current Queen, on the other hand, was named after her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who was the Duchess of York at the time of her first child’s birth in 1926. Alexandra (after her great-grandmother and King Edward VII’s wife) and Mary are the Queen’s middle names (her grandmother and wife of King George V). When the Queen assumed the throne in 1952, she was asked to choose a name for herself as sovereign. Certain monarchs, including her father, did not use their given names; he was born Albert but became King George VI. However, when confronted with the choice, Elizabeth famously replied, “Of course, my own.”
When her only daughter Princess Anne was born in 1950, the Queen gave her the middle name Elizabeth as her first middle name, christening her Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise. And the royal family’s tradition of using Elizabeth as a middle name endures. Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall, Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary, and Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor are three of the Queen’s four granddaughters who bear the moniker. After giving Beatrice the middle name Elizabeth, Princess Eugenie’s younger sister was christened Eugenie Victoria Helena.
The situation is similar among the Queen’s great-granddaughters, with four of the six bearing her name: Isla Elizabeth Phillips, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, Lena Elizabeth Tindall, and, of course, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.