Prince Harry and Meghan Markle surprised everyone with their decision to name their daughter Lilibet, the family's nickname for Queen Elizabeth II, but the monarch reportedly knew about it for several years.

According to a report in The Mirror, Prince Harry wanted to name his daughter after his grandmother even before he met his wife Meghan Markle, and had even discussed his wishes with the Queen. He had also considered the idea of naming her after his mother Princess Diana but was afraid of the attention this would bring. He has chosen Diana as the middle name of his daughter, similar to his brother Prince William, who named his daughter Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

"They have been incredibly close and as you would imagine have shared some very deep and personal conversations as Harry was growing up, which carried on really until very recently. Harry has never made a secret of his wish to have a family of his own, often talking about how it would be great to have a boy and a girl, that he could name after the two most important women in his life, the Queen and his mother," a source claimed.

However, palace insiders claimed to BBC that the Sussexes "never asked" for the Queen's permission to use her unique childhood name, which she coined for herself as she had difficulty pronouncing Elizabeth in her younger years, reports Mail Online.

Russell Myers, royal editor of the Daily Mirror, also claimed: "I am told Harry had said to the Queen he may name a daughter after her and so he didn't really ask for permission as such but it was a nice surprise."

Royal biographer Helen Bedell Smith also expressed similar sentiments, adding that the Queen had no choice but to accept the name of her 11th great-grandchild due to the "tense climate."

Smith told Vanity Fair: "In today's tense climate, when everyone is walking on eggshells with Harry and Meghan, I can't imagine that the Queen had any choice but to accept the name they presented to her, even if she felt—as would be completely understandable—that it breaches her privacy with a suggestion of inappropriate intimacy."

Prince Harry
Prince Harry gets a little help from the Queen for a promotional video ahead of the Invictus Games Kensington Palace / Twitter