Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (aka Meghan Markle), named comedian and filmmaker Tyler Perry their daughter Lilibet Diana’s godfather, the couple revealed in the final episode of their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan.
Perry was an invaluable ally to the Sussexes as they began their new life outside of the royal family, despite the fact that he, Meghan, and Harry had never met in person at the time.
Although Perry had sent Meghan a note before her wedding to Harry, she had never talked to him until she, her husband, and their son traveled to Canada for a six-week break at the end of 2019. “I called him — finally — after years at that point, the first time we ever spoke, and I was just a wreck,” she said. “I was just crying and crying. Sometimes it’s easier to just open up to someone who knows nothing at all, and that was that moment with me and Tyler.”
After that first phone conversation, Harry and Meghan made the decision to leave life as working members of the royal family — causing them to lose their taxpayer-funded security. After their final official royal events, the couple and their son, Archie, were in Vancouver as the world began to shut down due to the spread of COVID-19.
“We stayed in touch and then when all this happened, when we needed to go, he said, ‘What can we do to make it easier? How can I help you?’” Meghan said.
Perry helped by sending his private jet to Vancouver to bring the Sussexes to California, putting them up in his Los Angeles mansion, and providing round-the-clock security. (Harry and Meghan have both spoken about the threats their family has faced, and a top UK police official recently said those from right-wing groups against Meghan were “disgusting and very real.”)
Meghan described her conversation with Perry in the docuseries’ final episode.
“[He said,] ‘My house is safe, and I’ll make sure you have security. And you can take your time.’ I was like, ‘If we could stay for a week, then we can find somewhere we can live,’ and he’s like, ‘You’re not gonna stay a week. You’re gonna stay as long as you need. I’m gonna get you there safely, and I’m gonna keep you there safely until you have somewhere to go.’”
The Sussexes spent six weeks at Perry’s house before the Daily Mail learned of their location and published a story about their living arrangements, Harry said. Soon after that, they purchased a home in the central California town of Montecito and moved in.
Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born June 4, 2021 — and when it came time for the Sussexes to pick godparents, Perry was an obvious choice.
“They were pretty serious on the phone,” Perry said of the call in which Harry and Meghan popped the question. “I go, OK, what’s going on?’ [And they said,] ‘Well, we’d like for you to be Lili’s godfather.’ I had to take a minute to take that in, and I thought: I'd be honored. I’d be absolutely honored.”
The call ended, Perry said, but he immediately picked up his phone and redialed the Sussexes.
“I call them back, I go, ‘Uh, hold on a second. Does this mean we got to go over there [to the UK] and do all that in the church with [the royal family] and get all that out? Because I don't want to do that. Maybe we can do a private ceremony here and let that be that, and if you have to do it there, then it’s OK.’”
This is the first time Harry and Meghan have confirmed the identity of one of their children’s godparents.