United Kingdom

Meghan Markle will 'never return to the UK,' royal expert claims

Royal author Phil Dampier has slammed Prince Harry for 'running to his lawyers like a Hollywood star' after threatening BBC with legal action over reports he didn't ask the Queen about calling his daughter Lilibet. 

Appearing on The Royal Beat, available on Royalty TV, the veteran royal correspondent branded the Duke of Sussex's threat of legal action against the BBC and other media outlets as 'absolutely extraordinary' - adding 'this is what worries me about him.' 

'Whenever something critical appears he runs straight to his lawyer,' Phil Dampier explained. 'It's very LA. It's OK for Hollywood stars, but not to solve a family feud…

'I think the BBC correctly reported what she had told her royal aide to say, which was she hadn't been asked in advance.'  

Phil Dampier (pictured, right) appeared on The Royal Beat and discussed the plans for Princes William and Harry to reunite next month for the unveiling of a statue of their mother

Royal expert Phil Dampier claimed he doubts Meghan Markle will return to the UK. Pictured, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are pictured during the Oprah Winfrey interview 

Vanity Fair Royal Correspondent Katie Nicholl added: 'I think the fact that there was no Palace denial to the BBC story spoke volumes.' 

At the time, senior Buckingham Palace sources told BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond that the Queen was 'never asked' her opinion on the couple's decision to name their new baby after her childhood nickname.

However, Harry hit back within 90 minutes of the BBC's report being published through a statement from his and Meghan's close friend Omid Scobie that insisted the Queen was the first person the Duke called after the birth of his daughter.

Mr Scobie, who wrote the bombshell Finding Freedom biography of the couple, also claimed the Sussexes would not have used the name Lilibet unless the Queen had supported the move. 

Phil Dampier (pictured, second from left) discussed recent news coverage around whether Prince Harry requested permission from The Queen to call his daughter Lilibet was correctly reported and branded his reaction 'extraordinary' and more like behaviour of Hollywood star

Harry (second right) is surrounded by family at his mother's 1997 funeral. Pictured (from left): Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry, Prince Charles

Sweet family nickname for Queen that inspired Harry and Meghan's name for their baby daughter 

Lilibet - the Queen's family nickname - was first used when Princess Elizabeth was just a toddler and unable to pronounce her own name properly.

Her grandfather King George V would affectionately call her 'Lilibet' imitating her own attempts to say Elizabeth.

The sweet nickname stuck and she became Lilibet to her family from then on.

The Duke of Edinburgh also referred to his wife as Lilibet, writing to his mother in law after their wedding: 'Lilibet is the only 'thing' in the world which is absolutely real to me.'

Harry and Meghan's new baby daughter - the Queen's 11th great-grandchild - will be known as Lili. A variation on Lily, the flower is often seen to symbolise purity, commitment, rebirth and fertility.

Lili's middle name Diana honours Harry's later mother Diana, Princess of Wales. It is no surprise the couple chose to pay tribute to Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997 when Harry was just 12.

Lili has been born almost a month before the princess would have celebrated her 60th birthday on July 1. Her cousin Princess Charlotte also has Diana as one of her middle names, as well as Elizabeth. She is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Harry and the Duke of Cambridge are due to unveil a statue of their mother at Kensington Palace on her birthday, but the arrangements have yet to be confirmed, amid a long-reported rift between the brothers.

The Sussexes' tribute to the Queen is likely to be seen as an olive branch to the monarch and the rest of the family.

Harry and Meghan plunged the Windsors into crisis with their Oprah Winfrey interview in March when they accused an unnamed royal of making a racist remark about their son Archie's skin tone before he was born.

They also said the institution failed to help Meghan when she was suicidal. But during the televised interview with Winfrey, the Sussexes lauded the Queen.

Harry spoke of his respect for his grandmother, while Meghan said: 'The Queen... has always been wonderful to me.'

Harry, who together with wife Meghan announced they were expecting a girl during their interview with Oprah in March, took things a step further mere hours after his rebuttal of the report, threatening the BBC with legal action through law firm Schillings.

Notice of the legal action was followed by a carefully-worded statement that raised more questions than answers over whether the Queen did give permission or if the couple simply informed her of their intentions in a fait accompli.

The statement insisted that the BBC report was wholly wrong and read: 'The Duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement, in fact his grandmother was the first family member he called.

'During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honour. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name.'

The BBC then amended its report though the article still says that the Queen was not asked about the name of the baby. Mr Dymond's tweets citing a Buckingham Palace source also still remain up.

The BBC report on the Palace's position and Harry's fiery reaction implies both parties believe they are telling the truth on the issue. It suggests that Harry and Meghan could have informed the Queen of Lilibet's name before taking Her Majesty's non-denial as consent.

On the other hand, the Palace briefings appear to hint that the Queen felt she was presented with the couple's decision and asked to rubber stamp it, rather than give permission.

During the Royal Beat, Phil Dampier also went on to discuss the plans for Prince William, 39, and Prince Harry, 35, to reunite next month for the unveiling of a statue of their late mother, the Princess of Wales - and say he believes Meghan Markle will 'never return to the UK.'

'I don't think William trusts Harry anymore and he is always worried that anything he says will end up in the press in two or three days' time,' he said. 'That's what he is worried about, and he needs to be cautious of what he can actually say to him.'

He added: 'My personal opinion is that Meghan will never come back to this country ever again. I might be completely wrong, but I don't think she will ever come back.'  

Katie Nicholl added that The Queen is the one member of the Royal Family who may discuss how to resolve the difficult relationship between her two grandsons when they are in the UK next month.

'She is the only person who can talk to Harry in a certain way and make him see sense,' she continued.

Nicholl also spoke about the Earl and Countess of Wessex's higher profile in recent months.

'She [Sophie] has emerged as such an unsung star of The Royal Family and I think she and Edward are having a bit of a moment,' she explained. 'It is something of a royal renaissance.'

'They have worked quietly in the background for all of these years.' 

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