Queen to miss Lilibet's christening as Harry and Meghan break royal tradition with Episcopal Church ceremony

Meghan and Harry are now planning to have Lilibet's christening in the US, according to an insider

Queen to miss Lilibet's christening as Harry and Meghan Episcopal Church ceremony
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen is expected to miss Lilibet's christening following news that Prince Harry and Meghan will have their daughter baptized at an Episcopal church in the US. 

The Queen is likely to miss Lilibet’s christening, according to recent reports. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly done a U-turn when it comes to their daughter’s christening, opting to have the ceremony in the US rather than the UK after months of speculation on their plans for the big day. 

Rumors that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would baptize Lilibet Diana at Windsor Castle have been swirling ever since the couple welcomed the infant in California on 4 June, with several royal insiders insisting that the Queen would be present for the christening

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with their newborn son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019 in Windsor, England.

(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

However, it’s beginning to look unlikely that Her Majesty will attend the special occasion—unless she’s willing to travel 5,000 miles for it, that is. Harry and Meghan are reportedly now hoping to christen Lilibet at an Episcopal Church in the States, rather than following the Royal Family tradition of baptizing its members into the Church of England. 

The move is yet another statement the transatlantic couple has made to distance themselves from the British monarchy since their high-profile withdrawal as senior royals last year. 

“There will not be a christening in the UK. It is not happening,” a Buckingham Palace insider told the Telegraph. 

With the Duke and Duchess expected to skip a Princess Diana memorial service at Kensington Palace next week, Her Majesty might have to wait another few months to meet her darling great-granddaughter in person. It’s been rumored Harry and Meghan will bring Lilibet to the UK to meet the Queen at Christmas, but confirmation on these holiday plans has yet to be given. 

Meghan Markle and the Queen and Harry

(Image credit: Getty)

The Episcopal Church belongs to the Anglican Communion and holds many of the same practices and beliefs as the Church of England [COE]. However, if Meghan and Harry wish for Lilibet to be an official member of the COE, they will have to register her in one of its British congregations. The Duchess herself was baptized into the Church of England in 2018 in a private service ministered by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. 

Archie, Harry and Meghan’s first child, was also christened in a COE ceremony in 2018. 

What is an Episcopal Church christening?

An Episcopal Church christening is very similar to those of different Protestant denominations. The baptism, which is officiated by a bishop or a priest, usually takes place during a Sunday Mass or another sacred holiday. If the individual being baptized is an infant, their sponsors (godparents) will first be asked questions about their commitment to teaching Christian values. The officiator then pours a small amount of holy water over the child's head and voila, they're baptized. 

Like the Church of England, the Episcopal Church also allows any of its baptized Christian to officiate a simple emergency baptism in life-threatening situations. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.