Why baby Lilibet’s christening will be a key indicator amidst royal ‘rift’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter was born on 4 June

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a Creative Industries and Business Reception on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their daughter Lilibet in June and her christening could give a key indication of their relationship with the Royal Family during their so-called “rift”. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, delightedly announced the birth of their daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana, last month. She is the Queen's eleventh great-grandchild and was born in California, although contrary to popular belief, she was not the first royal to be born in the US. It is here that the Sussexes settled after “stepping down” as senior members of the Royal Family last year. Named in honor of Her Majesty and Princess Diana, it’s said that the Queen has already met Lilibet for the first time over video call

Now a royal commentator has suggested that baby Lilibet’s christening could give a key indication of the relationship between Prince Harry and Meghan and the Royal Family. Writing for news.com.au, Daniela Elser reflected on the implications of the choice of location for the event. 

She explained, “If the Sussexes were to decide they wanted the christening to happen back in the UK, perhaps even in September when it has been rumored that both Harry and Meghan will return to London, then it would be construed as an olive branch after years of intra-family squabbling and rancour.”

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Daniela also speculated that if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were to hold it in the US, it could speak volumes about their relationship with the Royal Family, as it would mean that the Queen would be unlikely to attend.

“However, if the Sussexes decided to hold the ceremony in California, thus precluding the Queen who no longer travels internationally from attending, it would be seen as nothing less than a clear rejection of the Royal Family,” she continued. 

“There is also a third option here: They decide to skip a baptism entirely. But again, this too would be read as deeply disrespectful to Her Majesty given she is, after all, the head of the Church of England.”

These comments come after months of rumored tension between the royals and the Sussexes following their “tell-all” Oprah Winfrey interview which aired in March. 

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018

(Image credit: Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

This saw Prince Harry and Meghan make a series of shocking revelations about life in the Royal Family. Her Majesty's response was “careful and constructive”, declaring that the Sussexes “remain much-loved members of the family”. Following this, Prince Harry went on to discuss “genetic pain and suffering” being “passed on” during an appearance on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. 

It’s said that the Queen has taken his comments about parenting in the Royal Family “very personally” during what was already a difficult time after Prince Philip’s death. Although she would likely be delighted to reunite with the Sussexes for Lilibet's christening. 

If Prince Harry and Meghan do decide to hold this in the UK, it would allow the Queen to be fully involved and would celebrate their relationship with their wider family. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!