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Queen Elizabeth II Meets Great-Granddaughter Lilibet, Birthday ‘Added Some Light’ Amid Canceled Platinum Jubilee Appearances (Exclusive)

Royal introductions! Queen Elizabeth II met Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s daughter, Lilibet, for the first time during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Us Weekly confirms.

Related: Prince Harry's Cutest Moments With Queen Elizabeth II Through the Years

“Harry and Meghan visited the queen at Windsor Castle with Lilibet and Archie,” a source tells Us exclusively.

The visit came as the 96-year-old monarch canceled several events, even though she “really wanted to be there” for the celebrations. “After reluctantly pulling out of Party at the Palace, spending time with her great-grandchildren and seeing Lilibet turn 1 added some light to her day,” the insider explained. “She thinks they’re adorable and gave Lili and Archie gifts.”

Introducing Lili! Queen Elizabeth II Meet's Harry, Meghan's Daughter
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry. Chris Jackson/AP/Shutterstock; Shutterstock

The queen enjoyed the Trooping of the Colour on Thursday, June 2, but she bowed out of the following days of celebrations. “The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read on Thursday. “Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.”

Though she made a pre-taped appearance with Paddington Bear at the star-studded concert on Saturday, June 4, the sovereign did not attend alongside Prince Charles and Prince William, who both made speeches in her honor. Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, also skipped the show, which featured performances from Queen with Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys and Rod Stewart.

The source added that the Queen watched the event on television and “felt so loved and overwhelmed by emotion.”

She made a surprise appearance on Sunday, June 5, shortly after the Jubilee Pageant concluded. The queen was beaming as she waved to the public from the Buckingham Palace balcony as she celebrated 70 years on the throne and meeting her great granddaughter for the first time.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their daughter in June 2021. Lili joined big brother Archie, who turned 3 last month. The couple, who moved to California after stepping back from their senior royal duties in 2020, named their little girl after Harry’s grandmother, whose nickname is Lilibet.

“They had a shortlist with a few other options, but this was always their favorite,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly following Lili’s arrival. “It was important for them that the queen signed off though and that didn’t happen until right before the birth. They both agreed it would only be right if Her Majesty gave her approval, especially with something so personal. … He and Meghan both love Lili.”

Related: The Royal Family: Get to Know the Next Generation

The Sussexes “have a huge amount of respect for the queen” despite their decision to leave their senior roles, the insider added. Lili’s moniker is doubly special, as her middle name — Diana — is a nod to the duke’s late mother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997. (Harry’s brother, Prince William, also included a nod to Diana when naming his daughter, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.)

“Harry always said that if he has a daughter, he wants her middle name to be Diana as a tribute to his mom,” the source told Us at the time.

Meghan and her husband, who wed in May 2018, were unable to travel back and forth to the U.K. amid the coronavirus pandemic. While Harry paid a few visits to his native country — including for Prince Philip‘s April 2021 funeral — the Suits alum flew across the pond for the first time earlier this year. Us confirmed in April that the twosome reunited with the queen at Windsor Castle before heading to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.

Related: Royal Party! Most Amazing Photos From Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee

“Harry and Meghan had a wonderful time seeing the queen again. It was one of the biggest highlights of their year so far,” a source told Us of the visit.

The former military pilot gushed over his grandmother during an interview with Today‘s Hoda Kotb that same month. “Being with her, it was great,” he said. “It was just so nice to see her. She’s [in] great form. … She’s always got a great sense of humor with me.”

Before Lilibet met her namesake, the little one’s parents attended the monarch’s Trooping the Colour and Service of Thanksgiving as part of the jubilee weekend. The Archewell cofounders made a grand entrance at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, June 3, but they didn’t appear to reconnect with William and Kate inside the chapel. The queen, for her part, did not attend the service after experiencing “some discomfort” during her birthday parade one day prior.

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