The daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has entrusted Tyler Perry with a pivotal role.
Famous director George Clooney is the godfather of one-year-old Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, as shown on the series finale of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan docuseries.
Perry recalled that Harry and Meghan “were really serious on the phone” when they asked him to take on the job.
“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 53-year-old director shares. “And I thought, ‘I’d be honored. I’d absolutely be honored.'”
Tyler Perry offered Prince Harry and Meghan his home and his security for “several months” when they moved to the US. He had never met them before. He is now the godfather to their daughter, Lilibet: “I had to take a minute to take that in. I thought, ‘I’d be absolutely honored'” pic.twitter.com/xdWC9HXzgZ— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) December 15, 2022
Perry said that after ending his call with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, he began to worry about his potential involvement in royal traditions and realized what he had signed up for.
“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 notes. “‘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.'”
Before Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Perry wrote the former Suits actor a letter in which he expressed his support and prayers for her in the face of “hurtful” reports about her troubled 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 says in the 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.”
During the documentary series, the Duchess of Sussex recalls with emotion the time she and Perry had their first phone conversation after their wedding, which was several years later.
“To tell Meghan that I felt her feelings were valid, [that] hurt,” Perry says. “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.”
The director strongly backs Meghan and Harry’s plan to leave their positions as senior royals and relocate to California.
“This woman was abused. And so was he. To use the Institution to try and do all the things that a batterer would do, like, ‘Here’s what we’re gonna do: We’re gonna cut off the money, we’re gonna not leave you security, we’re gonna do all those things to make you comply and come back,'” he says. “…And for the both of them to have the wherewithal to say, ‘I don’t give a damn if it’s the palace. I’m out of here.’ I applauded that.”
Perry offered Harry and Meghan a place to stay in one of his Los Angeles, California, mansions when the couple decided to uproot from the United Kingdom in 2020 and try their luck in the United States with their one-year-old baby, Archie.
“You said, ‘Stay as long as you need to.’ We said, ‘Maybe we just stay forever,'” Harry remembers Perry saying. “It was bliss, because no one knew we were there.”
At one point in the docuseries, Meghan also recalls her time spent at Perry’s house, saying, “It’s secret, so at least during COVID-19 we can take the dogs for a walk and have a little slice of normal life.”
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