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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter has officially been christened Princess Lilibet Diana! Their son, 3-year-old Prince Archie, was christened in July 2019 at a private ceremony at Windsor Chapel.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex held a “small and intimate” ceremony for their 21-month-old baby girl at their home in Montecito, California, according to PEOPLE. A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle told the outlet, “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.”
Princess Lilibet and her older brother Prince Archie, 3, were officially given prince and princess titles in Sept. 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the ascension of their grandfather King Charles III. Rules established by King George V in 1917 granted the children and grandchildren of the monarch royal titles. Although Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave up their royal titles and stepped back from royal duties in Jan. 2020, that doesn’t mean their children have to give up their titles.
However, the siblings were not called Princess Lilibet and Prince Archie until now — an exciting development! According to PEOPLE, the palace will soon update their website to reflect their new titles, as they currently list the kids as “Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor” and “Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.”
An insider revealed more details about the christening, including who was there and who was notably absent from the special day. There were “between 20-30 guests” at the gathering, according to an insider, including Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, Lilibet’s godfather Tyler Perry, and an unnamed godmother. The ceremony included an afternoon of food and dancing, including an adorable moment with Archie and Lili dancing together.
This is very similar to Prince Archie’s christening, which included about 25 guests in an “intimate, peaceful setting,” a source told PEOPLE at the time. Prince William and Kate Middleton attended this event, although their kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis did not.
However, prominent members of the royal family were not in attendance at Princess Lilibet’s christening, a source told PEOPLE. This includes King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William, and Kate Middleton, although they did receive invitations.
It could be that they were too busy to travel across the pond for the California gathering. Or maybe it’s because tensions between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the royal family are at an all-time high after Prince Harry’s telling memoir Spare was released in January. Not to mention, King Charles recently evicted Meghan and Harry from Frogmore Cottage, and we still don’t know if they will attend his coronation — which, BTW, is being held on Archie’s 4th birthday. So yeah, it’s a lot.
No matter what their reasons were, not showing up for the christening definitely feels like a snub for Princess Lilibet.
Luckily, Lilibet’s godfather brought some big joy to the event. He showed up with a 10-person gospel choir that sang “Oh Happy Day” and “This Little Light of Mine,” the latter of which was played at Meghan and Harry’s wedding, according to PEOPLE.
In an episode of Harry & Meghan on Netflix, Perry recalled the moment the Duke and Duchess of Sussex asked him to be Lilibet’s godfather. “I go, ‘Okay, what’s going on?’” Perry said. “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.”
“I thought, ‘I’d be honored. I’d absolutely be honored,’” the Ruthless creator said. Then he had one condition about the christening.
“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,’” the Diary of a Mad Black Woman creator said. “‘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 okay.’”
Apparently that sounded perfect to them, because that’s exactly what happened for Princess Lilibet’s ceremony. Although, we bet they still felt the absence of their royal family members.
Prince Harry told PEOPLE in Jan. 2023, “I’ve said before that I’ve wanted a family, not an institution—so of course, I would love nothing more than for our children to have relationships with members of my family, and they do with some, which brings me great joy.”
Before you go, check out Prince Harry’s very best dad moments — so far!
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