Far removed from the royal family, Lilibet, the 21-month-old granddaughter of King Charles III, was christened in California. As the US magazine "People" reported on Wednesday, citing its own sources, the ceremony took place with around 20 to 30 guests at the property of Lilibet's parents Prince Harry (38) and Duchess Meghan (41) in Montecito.
"I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened by Archbishop of Los Angeles John Taylor on Friday, March 3," a representative for the couple said. Britain's PA news agency pointed out it was the first time the girl had been referred to by her new title. Lilibet Diana, who turns two on June 4, is named after her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's family nickname and after her grandmother Diana, Harry's mother who died in 1997.
The ceremony broke with royal traditions. Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, was present, as was Lili's godfather, actor Tyler Perry, as "People" wrote. However, representatives of Harry's family were absent. The couple invited Charles (74), Queen Camilla (75), heir to the throne Prince William (40) and his wife Princess Kate (41). But nobody came. Observers assumed that safety precautions and the time required for the 8,800-kilometer journey to the US west coast would have been too great.
Royal baptisms usually take place in a small family circle in England. Lilibet's older brother Archie was christened at Windsor Castle on July 6, 2019 when he was eight weeks old. Back then, Charles and Camilla and William and Kate were there.
In the meantime, however, relations within the family have broken down. Harry and Meghan have repeatedly criticized the palace since moving to California, and there was also talk of racism. In his autobiography "Reserve", Harry made serious allegations against his older brother and stepmother Camilla.
Charles then demanded that his son vacate the Frogmore Cottage estate in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The king has invited the couple to his coronation on May 6th - Archie's fourth birthday - but it is still unclear whether Harry and Meghan will arrive.
However, one point of contention now seems to have been settled: the question of whether Lilibet and Archie are listed as princesses and princes. In her interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, Meghan complained that Archie was not given a prince title at birth.
However, this was according to the rules laid down by Harry's great-great-grandfather, King George V, in 1917. So Archie and Lilibet didn't become prince and princess by birth - only the firstborn sons of a future king have that right, in this case her cousin Prince George, Prince William's eldest child. Only when Charles became monarch could they, as grandsons of a king, bear their new titles. As British media reported, the official names for the children should only be used in formal situations and not in everyday life. King Charles was reportedly informed of the title issue in advance.
The palace announced that it would update the two children's titles on the official website. Until Wednesday afternoon, they were listed there as "Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor" and "Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor" in sixth and seventh place in the line of succession.