Tyler Perry Shares His Nickname for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Daughter and His Goddaughter, Lilibet

The filmmaker about opened up about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's stay at his home when they moved to California in a new interview.

Tyler Perry rarely discusses his special role in the life of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter. Still, during a recent interview, the 54-year-old filmmaker shared a sweet tidbit about his goddaughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

On the latest podcast episode of Let's Talk Off-Camera with Kelly Ripa, Perry opened up about his close relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who famously moved into one of the Madea creator's homes when they decided to move out of the U.K. and give it a go in the United States.

The couple currently lives in Montecito, California, with their two children, 4-year-old Prince Archie and 2-year-old Princess Lilibet, but Perry shares that his relationship with them remains close. 

Ripa asked about his role as godfather to Princess Lilibet, whom Perry revealed he calls "Little Lili."

"She's so adorable," he said. "Oh, she's so beautiful. She's just so beautiful."

"They make beautiful babies -- that's all I'll say," Perry added. "They make some beautiful kids. Archie and Lili are beautiful."

Alexi Lubomirski/Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Perry's connection to Harry and Meghan started after he wrote the former Suits star a letter ahead of her royal wedding, which said he was praying for her amid "hurtful" stories popping up about her strained relationship with her father, Thomas Markle.

"I couldn't even imagine this woman finding the man that she loved, the man of her dreams, and him being a prince, and then to walk into all of that madness and need the security of family and then have your father do some horrible things," Perry revealed in the final episode of Netflix's Harry & Meghan's docuseries, adding that he "immediately empathized" with Meghan. "When my life changed and success started to come, family members became different people, and I know how hurtful and horrible it can be."

Years after her wedding, Perry and Meghan finally spoke over the phone, a moment the Duchess of Sussex tearfully recalls in the docuseries. 

"To tell Meghan that I felt her feelings were valid, [that] hurt," Perry said. "I didn't want to have to say that to her -- I didn't want her to feel that. But I didn't want to lie to her. She was afraid of them destroying her, or going crazy, or them making her think she was crazy."

In 2020, when Harry and Meghan decided to move out of the U.K., Perry offered them one of his homes to live at in Los Angeles, California. "You said, 'Stay as long as you need to.' We said, 'Maybe we just stay forever,'" Harry remembered Perry saying. "It was bliss, because no one knew we were there."

The docuseries revealed that Meghan and Harry asked Perry to be Lilibet's godfather, a conversation that Perry remembered was "pretty serious on the phone."

"I go, 'OK, what's going on?' They said, 'Well, we'd like for you to be Lili's godfather.' I go, 'Whoa.' I had to take a minute to take that in," the director shared. "And I thought, 'I'd be honored. I'd absolutely be honored.'"

After hanging up with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Perry said he then realized what he had signed up for and had some concerns about his possible role in royal traditions.

Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

"I called them back and go, 'Uh, hold on a second, does this mean we gotta go over [to the U.K.] and do all of that in church with [the royal family] and figure all that out? 'Cause I don't wanna do that,'" he noted. "'Maybe we can do a little private ceremony here [in the U.S.] and let that be that, and if you have to do it there, then that's OK.'"

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed to ET that the couple's then-21-month-old daughter was christened in a small and intimate ceremony at Harry and Meghan's Montecito home in March.

According to People, the ceremony had between 20 and 30 guests, which included Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, Lilibet's godfather, Perry, and an unnamed godmother. 

Following the ceremony, the outlet reported that guests were treated to food and dancing. A source also noted to People that Harry and Meghan extended an invite to Harry's family, including King Charles III, Camila, Queen Consort, Prince William and Kate Middleton. 

On Ripa's podcast, Perry also spoke about his friendship with Meghan and how their connection blossomed as the tumultuous relationship between the public and the royal couple became rocky.

"I got the tremendous sense of how overwhelming it all was for her," Perry said. "...I felt that she was very much isolated and alone. And I couldn't imagine leaving America -- and she had a really, really happy life. She was really happy, and I later found all of that out."

He went on, "But to go into this world of where everything is larger than life -- even to this day, it's still larger than life for them where everywhere she goes or whatever she does or she puts on something, it sells out. There are paparazzi in the corners. I wanted to be a safe place -- not only for her, but you know, there are many people who don't have a name or are not a part of a royal family who just need somebody to be there for them."

"Every day that they were there, I looked to see if anything's happening online. Nothing. They don't even know," he recalled of Harry and Meghan's stay in one of his homes. "So weeks and weeks they were there. They were so happy. It was such a beautiful moment."


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