Amid a continued feud from within the British monarchy, some royal watchers are wondering if Charles and William attended Lilibet’s christening—the granddaughter of the King and seventh in line for the throne.
The second child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was baptized in an intimate ceremony at their home in Montecito, California on Friday, March 3, 2023. The 21-month-old was blessed by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor and given the name “Princess Lilibet Diana”, a spokesperson for the couple told People.
Under rules set out by King George V in 1917, Lilibet and Archie are entitled to use the prefixes, Prince and Princess. “The grandchildren of the sons of any such sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of dukes of these our realms,” the rule states. But with all the drama within the drama that has intensified after the release of Harry’s explosive memoir Spare, it seems a few key members of the royal family weren’t in attendance at Lilibet’s christening.
Were Charles and Prince William at Lilbet’s christening? Apparently not, according to sources, though they were reportedly sent an invitation. One anonymous source said there were between 20-30 guests at the gathering, including Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, Lilibet’s godfather, actor and billionaire filmmaker Tyler Perry, and an unnamed godmother.
Some have speculated he’s the reason the ceremony didn’t happen in the UK. In Netflix’s Harry & Meghan, Perry recalled the moment he was asked to be Lilibet’s godfather. “They were pretty serious on the phone and I am like, ‘OK what’s going on’, and they said, ‘Well we would 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, absolutely be honored.”
He continued: “I got off the phone and took it all in and then I called them back and said, ‘Hold on a second, does that mean we have to go over there and do all of that in the church with them and figure all of 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 that’s ok.”
Traditionally, children born into the royal family are christened at one of the royal residences; Harry and Meghan chose to host Archie’s ceremony at Windsor Castle in July 2019. NBC royals correspondent Neil Sean reported in October 2021 that Harry and Meghan originally wanted Lilibet’s christening to be at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor (their 2018 wedding venue), so the now-late Queen could attend the ceremony.
“One of the bigger problems that Meghan really encountered of later is that she wanted her daughter, Lilibet Diana, to be christened in the place she was married alongside her husband Prince Harry. And then the christening of her firstborn, Archie,” Sean said via Express. “But that came to a grinding halt. Both Harry and Meghan were very keen to make that return and make sure that christening happened, particularly in front of Her Majesty The Queen.”
According to Sean, Harry and Meghan’s request was denied by Harry’s older brother, Prince William, who told them that Lilibet’s christening at Windsor wasn’t “going to work… But moving forward there was one person who basically decided there wasn’t an appetite for this and the person that seemingly is, so far, not willing to kiss and make up with his younger brother,” Sean said. “According to a very good source, Prince William was the one who basically said ‘no, we don’t think this is going to work,’ it wasn’t a particularly good idea.”
A rep for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared to dismiss these claims in a statement to E! News later that month, telling the publication, “Plans for the baby’s christening have not been finalized and as such, any assumptions about what will or will not take place are mere speculation.”
Lilibet—whose full name is Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor—was born on June 4, 2021. “It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world,” a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said at the time of Lilibet’s birth. “Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz.”
Lilibet is named after Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II (whose childhood nickname is “Lilibet”), and his late mother, Princess Diana. “Both mother and child are healthy and well and settling in at home. Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet,” the statement continued at the time of her birth. “Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales. This is the second child for the couple, who also have a two-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.” Lilibet’s nickname, Lili, is also a nod to Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, who used to call her daughter, “Flower,” when she was younger, according to a past post on Meghan’s blog, The Tig.
In a statement at the time, Harry and Meghan expressed how “blessed” they were for the birth of their daughter. “On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family,” they said.
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