Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ‘may preclude Queen from attending’ Lili’s christening

Meghan Markle 'could join' Harry on UK return says expert

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Meghan and Harry’s possible plans for the christening of their daughter are being kept under wraps. Lili was born on June 4 at a Santa Barbara hospital and, if her parents decide she will get baptised, the service will likely take place within a few weeks.

But Meghan and Harry’s relocation abroad and their strained relationship with some members of the Firm have left royal commentators speculating whether the baptism would take place in the UK or the US.

If the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to go ahead with the christening in California, they could unwillingly prevent the Queen from attending it, one royal expert has noted.

Royal commentator Daniela Elser wrote on “If the Sussexes were to decide they wanted the christening to happen back in the UK, perhaps even in September when it has been rumoured 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.”

She continued: “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.” 

Ms Elser added there is another option available for the Sussexes when it comes to Lili’s christening.

She said: “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.”

After stepping down as senior royals, Harry and Meghan openly spoke about their relationship with some members of the Firm. 

But they spoke highly of the Queen, stressing they are still in touch with Her Majesty despite their decision to step down as senior royals.

Speaking to Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, Meghan said the Queen has always been “wonderful” to her and revealed she called her in February when it emerged the Duke of Edinburgh was taken to hospital.

The Sussexes have also called via video link the 95-year-old sovereign to show her Archie.

In turn, the Queen shipped across the pond a very peculiar Christmas present for the tot last year – a waffle maker. 

The christening of Lili will likely be celebrated two years after the one of her elder brother Archie Harrison.

The tot’s baptism took place in Windsor in July 2019 in front of several royal guests including Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate and Princess Diana’s sisters.

However, the Queen and Prince Philip were not in attendance.

The sovereign’s absence was not a slight at her eight great-grandchild but was due to a scheduling conflict.  

For the same reason, the monarch was forced to miss the christening of Prince Louis in 2018.

During her record-breaking reign, the Queen has visited more than 100 countries, including Australia, Canada and the US.

However, aged 89, the sovereign stopped travelling abroad, passing on this duty to her children and grandchildren.

The last foreign country visited by the Queen and Prince Philip in November 2015 was Malta. 

This trip took place as she was attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting hosted by Valletta.

But the tour to Malta was also deeply significant for the Queen and Prince Philip, who lived on the island for two years as a newlywed couple, before she ascended the throne.

After the death of King George VI and her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II visited the country in 1954 and once again in 1967.

She also visited in 1992 after it became a republic, in 2005 and in 2007 to mark her 60th wedding anniversary with Prince Philip.    

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