Inside Lilibet’s Californian life – celeb play dates, Meghan’s parenting and missing cousins

Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor will have a very different life to her royal cousins.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced the birth of their baby girl, who was born on Friday in California, with mother and baby healthy and well while settling at home.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have sweetly named their newborn daughter after The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.

Unlike her older brother Archie, who was born in the UK and spent time in Canada, Lilibet is set to spend all of her childhood growing up in California.

Her parents have carved out a new life away from the royal family, running a million-dollar documentary and podcast empire, doing charity work and living in a Santa Barbara mansion.

This means Lilibet is likely to have play dates with her mum and dad’s famous pals, including Serena Williams, James Corden and Orlando Bloom’s kids, rather than her cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Here is a look at what we expect life to be like for Lilibet.

Celebrity play dates

Archie now has a younger sister to play with
Archie now has a younger sister to play with

If the Sussexes had remained in the UK, it’s likely that Lilibet would have shared lots of playdates with George, Charlotte and Louis.

Other royal pals might have included Mike and Zara Tindall’s children and Lord Frederick Windsor’s two daughters.

However, she will instead be getting to know some of the babies who live near her parent’s new home, which is in an area filled with famous faces.

Harry and Meghan have already said Lilibet will be known affectionately as ‘Lili’ – and it’s most likely what all her friends will call her.

They live “just down the road” from Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom and pop singer Katy Perry, who are parents to 10-month-old Daisy Dove.

The Sussexes have become close friends with their new neighbours and regularly text, so are likely to introduce their children to one another.

Last month, Harry told Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast: “Just two days ago Orlando Bloom sent me a message because he’s down the road and we sort of keep in contact because of the paparazzi.”

Serena Williams' daughter Olympia could be a childhood pal
Serena Williams’ daughter Olympia could be a childhood pal

Another candidate for Lilibet’s BFF will be Serena Williams’ daughter Olympia.

Meghan is good friends with the tennis ace, cheering her on at Wimbledon and the US Open in recent years, while Serena attended the royal wedding in 2018 and was one of the first people to meet Archie.

Another of the couples’ pals is music producer David Foster, whose singer wife Katharine McPhee gave birth to their baby daughter Rennie in February.

Katharine previously stated that David “has a really, really beautiful relationship with Harry,” and that they are “like father and son”.

Also queuing up for play dates could be George and Amal Clooney’s three-year-old twins, Alexander and Ella.

While British talk show host James Corden has become very close pals with Harry and has three kids, the youngest of which is three-year-old Charlotte.

Missing family

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show their new son, born Monday and named as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show their new son, born Monday and named as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh

Just like brother Archie, Lilibet is sure to form a very close bond with doting grandmother Doria.

Meghan is very close to her mother, who has been hands on with helping out and looking after her grandson.

Doria spends lots of time with Archie and will certainly do the same with baby Lilibet as she only lives just up the road.

However, because they are living across the pond it means Lilibet will not spend much time with her dad’s side of the family.

There are obviously tensions between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family and it is unknown when they will actually get to meet Lilibet.

Archie has been able to see his cousins, aunt and uncle, and grandparents via video call during the pandemic and the Sussexes also spoke regularly to the Queen and Prince Philip before his death.

Lilibet won't get to spend much time with her cousins
Lilibet won’t get to spend much time with her cousins

Therefore it’s highly likely that the first time the royals will get to see Lilibet will be virtually.

It is understood Harry and Meghan spoke with members of the family, including the Queen, about the choice of name, which the Duke of Edinburgh used as a pet name for Her Majesty.

The Queen was thrilled about the birth of her great-grandchild

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been informed and are delighted with the news of the birth of a daughter for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”

While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tweeted: “We are all delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili. Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie.”

Parenting style

Harry and Meghan released this snap when they announced she was pregnant with Lilibet
Harry and Meghan released this snap when they announced she was pregnant with Lilibet

In their quitting statement, Meghan and Harry said they planned to raise Archie “with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born” but with “space to focus on the next chapter”.

So Lilibet will also be taught about her heritage but will also be given more freedom than her cousins.

Thanks to their wealth and notoriety, Meghan and Harry will have a range of experts available to them if needed as they juggle raising two young children and holding down careers.

Given their multi-million pound deals with Netflix and Spotify, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex can afford to have a day nanny and a night nanny, and extra help from the likes of a maternal wellbeing therapist or a nutritionist, say parenting experts.

They could hire an “army” of nannies, sleep consultants, therapists, yoga teachers and personal chefs.

When they lived in the UK, the couple took Archie to baby classes, so socialising with other children her age will also be important for Lilibet.

Meghan is passionate about healthy eating and one of her pals said Archie will be eating a lot of organic produce, so expect the same for his younger sister.

Make up artist Daniel Martin said: “I’m sure the baby’s going to be raised green. [Meghan] loves to cook, eating organic whenever she can. I totally see her making her own food. Totally!”

Schools and education

Archie is already learning lots
Archie is already learning lots

It won’t be posh boarding schools in Scotland for Lilibet.

Harry and Meghan got tips on the best school for Archie from celebrity pals last year and will want to them both to attend the same one.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were said to have spoken to private schools in the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles.

Fees can typically cost almost £30,000 a year – on a par with elite boarding schools in the UK – with Harry’s old school Eton costing around £42,000.

A source said: “Meghan wants to send Archie to a diverse and socially integrated pre-school. She has been in touch with schools and started to make plans.

“For her the big thing is that she doesn’t want Archie to attend a posh private school and wants it to be as diverse as possible.”

Harry has revealed Archie has already started attending pre-school, which will give the Sussexes some alone time with baby Lilibet.

Home life

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex holding their son Archie.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex holding their son Archie.

If the Sussexes had stayed in the UK, Lilibet would have grown up in the stunning Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Before this, there had been plans for the couple to move into one of the bigger apartments in Kensington Palace, just a few doors up from the Cambridges, which would have allowed Archie to spend a lot of time with her cousins and other family members.

However, Lilibet will now grow up in a stunning £11.1million family home in Montecito, Santa Barbara, which her parents bought last summer.

Before leaving the UK the couple spent millions renovating Frogmore and adding lots of eco-friendly gadgets including a £50,000 green energy unit – so it’s likely they’ve taken steps to make their new home as green as possible.

Archie’s nursery was reportedly decorated with vegan and organic paint, so the same will probably happen for Lilibet.

Staying in the public eye

Archie looked adorable in home footage shown in the Oprah interview
Archie looked adorable in home footage shown in the Oprah interview

We are yet to see the first photo of baby Lilibet, but the Sussexes will likely take the same steps they did with Archie.

While Kate and William release photos of their children, Meghan and Harry have unsurprisingly shared far fewer images of their son since quitting royal life.

The couple decided against the tradition of posing for photos on the hospital steps following the birth and instead arranged a photocall for a small group of the media a few days later.

The couple also kept the christening as a private celebration but released two official photos from the day.

Before shutting down their Sussex Royal Instagram page they shared a handful of snaps, including a picture of his foot in front of Princess Diana’s favourite flowers to mark Mother’s Day and one of Archie and Charles on the Prince of Wales’s birthday.

For his first birthday, they shared an adorable video of Meghan reading her son his favourite book, Rabbit! Duck!, and he also made a guest appearance on his parents’ debut podcast for Archewell Audio.

The couple shared a rare video of Archie playing on the beach as part of their controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey.

They are keen to give their kids a life away from the royal spotlight with a more private upbringing.