Friday, 23 Feb 2024

Harry and Meghan ‘will want’ blessing for Lilibet during UK visit

Archie and Lilibet ‘will have’ royal titles says Fitzwilliams

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Last week, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle confirmed their 21-month-old daughter had been christened. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex held an intimate ceremony at their home in Montecito, California, with guests including Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, and the toddler’s godfather, Tyler Perry. Members of the Royal Family were not present, but the King and Queen Consort, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, reportedly did receive invitations. By announcing the news of the christening, the Sussexes also confirmed that their two children had taken on their royal titles. Prince Archie Harrison, three, and Princess Lilibet Diana became eligible for their princely styles following the accession of their grandfather.

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Ms Forsey noted the significance of royal christenings, saying they “are a really big deal,” with religion playing a central role for the monarchy.

Mr Myers, royal editor at the Daily Mirror, agreed, adding: “The King is the head of the Church of England, the Anglican Church, and certainly he would find a christening to be a very sacred event, a reason to celebrate togetherness and new beginnings. I think it’s a great shame that he wasn’t there.”

The commentator went on to recall Archie’s christening in the summer of 2019, and said: “We had that amazing picture of [Archie] with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

“And we don’t have that [for Lilibet’s christening]; there are no family photos of that royal connection. And they want their children to have the royal connection.”

He continued: “Of course, the one thing I do think is it means Harry and Megan are going to come to the Coronation and I do think they’ll bring the family because they will want to celebrate that unity with the Royal Family.”

Ms Forsey suggested that the Sussexes may choose to hold “a blessing” for the christening if they return to the UK in May, likening it to similar events held for weddings such as that of King Charles and Queen Camilla in 2005.

Mr Myers responded: “I think that’s a good shout because I think they [Harry and Meghan] will want to do that,” before adding: “I think they will come now.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed that they received “email correspondence” from the King regarding the Coronation. However, it is thought that they remain undecided over whether they will attend.

 

“I can confirm the Duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty’s office regarding the coronation,” a spokesperson for the couple said.

Their decision to give their children the titles of prince and princess has raised hopes that they will accept the invitation to the historic occasion.

For some, the fact the couple extended invites to members of the Royal Family for Lilibet’s christening shows that the icy relations between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family may be thawing.

Ms Forsey said: “Wanting that prince and princess link and confirming it in the christening… hopefully means that we might get to see them later in the year [for the Coronation].”

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Royal commentator Afua Hagan told Express.co.uk: “The lines of communication are improving. There has been a defrosting of royal relations — from both sides.”

She also argued the couple’s decision to use their children’s formal titles could suggest they intend to return to the UK for the Coronation.

“It is a good indication that they will attend the Coronation and indicates where their head is at,” she said, adding: “They still want to have ties to the Royal Family.”

However, for others, Harry and Meghan’s appearance at the biggest royal event of the year still looks unlikely.

Kinsey Schofield, royal commentator and host of the To Di For Daily podcast, told Express.co.uk: “I don’t think we will see either one at the Coronation. I think that’s their way of punishing the Royal Family when, in reality, I’m not so sure that royal watchers wanted to see Harry and Meghan at the Coronation.”

And, according to some commentators, certain members of the family may also be weary of Harry and Meghan’s attendance.

It has been reported that some royals “do not want to socialise” with the couple after the release of Harry’s tell-all memoir Spare and their Netflix documentary series, Harry and Meghan.

A source close to the family told the Daily Mail: “They will be given the cold shoulder by very many relatives. One said to me, ‘I hope they’ll be seated in Iceland.'”

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