The King told Prince Harry that his children would be allowed to be called Prince and Princess in a ‘private conversation’ after the Queen’s funeral last year, it is understood.
Harry and Meghan’s 21-month-old daughter Lilibet saw her royal title of ‘Princess’ used formally for the first time yesterday, giving the first indication that the Sussexes will use the titles for their children.
The move is seen as an olive branch after reports the couple has been ‘obsessed’ with the idea that the King might bar the children from being prince or princess. Royal sources said Charles would never have ‘punished’ his grandchildren like that.
It is understood that despite the Sussexes’ repeated attacks on the institution of the monarchy and members of the Royal Family, there has been correspondence on the issue between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and royal aides.
Harry and Meghan’s children became a prince and princess when the King acceded to the throne, but have remained a plain ‘master’ and ‘miss’ on the Buckingham Palace website for the past six months. Early today, that remained the case.
The King told Prince Harry that his children would be allowed to be called Prince and Princess in a ‘private conversation’ after the Queen’s funeral last year. Pictured: Charles III and Prince Harry together at Windsor Castle on the day of the Queen’s funeral on September 19, 2022
The move is seen as an olive branch from Charles after reports Harry and Meghan had been ‘obsessed’ with the idea that the King might bar the children from being prince or princess
A photograph issued by Archewell of Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, after celebrating her first birthday in June last year
The Sussexes at their former home Frogmore Cottahe during their visit to the UK for the Queen’s Jubilee in June, pictured
The first picture of the couple’s daughter Lilibet was released in a Christmas card on December 23, 2021
Lili was described as ‘Princess Lilibet Diana’ in a statement from a spokesman for the couple yesterday that confirmed she was christened last in a private ceremony at the Sussexes’ home in Montecito, California, on March 3.
A source told the Mirror: ‘The appropriate conversations took place ahead of Lilibet’s christening.’
While it is understood the title will be used in formal settings, it will not be in everyday conversational use by the couple.
So she will likely still be known as ‘Lilibet’ in most scenarios.
Lilibet, known as ‘Lili’ for short, was named as ‘Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor’ on her birth certificate in California.
Harry and Meghan are understood to be keen to not deny their children their birthright but will allow them the chance to decide for themselves when they are older whether they want to drop or keep using the titles.
The couple’s £11million mansion in Montecito, California, where their daughter’s christening was held
Tyler Perry at a Los Angeles airport last Friday, on the day he attended Lilibet’s christening as her godfather
Less than 24 hours after the baptism, Harry spoke with Canadian ‘toxic trauma expert’ Dr Gabor Mate during a live-streamed 90-minute interview to promote Spare (pictured)
It will be up to Lilibet whether she wants to describe herself as a princess.
Harry and Meghan’s children Archie and Lilibet became prince and princess respectively when King Charles acceded to the throne last September.
However it is only now that the couple have chosen to use the title.
Rules set out by King George V in 1917 mean Archie and Lili, as the children of a son of a sovereign, are automatically a prince and a princess.
Buckingham Palace currently refers to her on the royal website as ‘Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor’.
The Palace said its website ‘will now be updated in due course’ to reflect the titles – making Lilibet a princess.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son Archie, and (left to right) the Queen Consort, the King, Ms Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and the Prince and Princess of Wales at Windsor Castle after his christening in July 2019
Prince William, Prince of Wales and Kate, Princess of Wales, pictured at the Baftas in February, were not at the christening
Previously, at the time of the late Queen’s death and the King’s accession last year, a spokesman for the King pledged to update Archie and Lilibet’s names on the site ‘as and when we get information’.
Meghan said in the couple’s bombshell interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey in 2021 that Archie was not given the title of prince because of his race.
The real reason was that although he was a great-grandchild of the monarch, he was not a first-born son of a future king and so was not automatically a prince.
Lilibet also now has an HRH – Her Royal Highness – style title if she wishes to use it.
However, it also understood that HRH will be ‘held in abeyance’, which describes a state of temporary disuse.
Although Harry and Meghan retain their HRH styles, they no longer use them after quitting the working monarchy.
It was previously reported in 2021 that Charles, in a bid to limit the number of key royals, intended, when he became monarch, to prevent Archie becoming a prince.
To do so, he would have to issue a Letters Patent amending Archie’s right to be a prince and Lili’s right to be a princess.
The couple’s statement yesterday said Lilibet was ‘christened on March 3, by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor’.
However, Reverend Taylor is actually the Bishop of Los Angeles in the Episcopal Church in the US, which is part of the global Anglican Communion.
The Archbishop of Los Angeles is the Most Reverend José H. Gomez, who leads the US’s largest Catholic community.
Conducting the ceremony in the US means that Lilibet will not be considered a ‘member’ of the Church of England automatically.
However, as the Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the christening in the US is valid in the UK.
A royal baby does also not need to be christened in a Church of England church to go into the royal line of succession and she could later join a Church of England congregation if she came to Britain.
It is not believed that any other current members of the Royal Family have been baptised by the Episcopal Church.
Meghan was a Catholic growing up before being baptised and confirmed into the Church of England in 2018.
The couple broke with a longstanding tradition by holding the baptism in the US, with royal babies normally christened in a Church of England church.
People magazine reported that there were between 20 and 30 guests at the event, including Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and Lilibet’s billionaire godfather Tyler Perry.
The filmmaker had been spotted paying a visit to Harry and Meghan’s Montecito home last Friday and at a airport in Los Angeles where he boarded his private jet.
Afterwards guests and family including Doria Ragland danced to a playlist containing songs from Harry and Meghan’s wedding reception at Windsor Castle.
A gospel choir also reportedly performed Oh Happy Day and This Little Light of Mine.
Royal journalist Omid Scobie, who is close to the Sussexes, reported that ‘King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William, Princess Kate were invited but didn’t attend’.
It is not known whether any other Royal Family members were present.
Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor, the Bishop of Los Angeles, christened the Sussex’s daughter Lilibet on Friday
Less than 24 hours after Lilibet’s christening, Harry hosted an online Q&A to promote his memoir Spare — and may have had christening guests staying in his mansion while it happened.
Lilibet’s brother, Archie, was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in July 2019.
Royal experts were confounded over the christening arrangements of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter Lilibet, with a question mark over whether the baby’s blue-blooded relatives were invited.
Harry and Meghan’s friend Omid Scobie claimed King Charles, the Queen Consort ands the Prince and Princess of Wales ‘declined’ an invitation to attend Lilibet’s christening in California last Friday.
Royal author Phil Dampier said: ‘Harry and Meghan can try and claim the moral high ground by letting it be known that they invited the King, Queen Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales to the christening but they are just playing games. They know there wasn’t a hope in hell of any of them going.
‘If they genuinely wanted to build bridges and start a healing process why didn’t they come over with their children a couple of weeks before the Coronation and have the christening then?
‘It would have been the perfect excuse to start the reconciliation process.’
Writer Richard Fitzwilliam wrote: ‘The Sussexes do nothing by accident and this is also an opportunity to remind the world that they are an important part of the royal family.
‘King Charles was clearly right in deciding that Archie and Lili should be given what is automatically theirs, whatever difficulties the Palace currently has with their parents.’
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘It would be for The Duke and Duchess to confirm who attended their daughter’s christening.’
Scobie, who is close to the Sussexes, insisted the King, Queen consort, Prince and Princess of Wales were invited to the ceremony but chose not to attend.
However, the Royal Household has published a packed itinerary of duties over the past two weeks.
A bulletin published on the Royal Family’s website shows a busy schedule of duties over the week of February 25 to March 3, which may be a pointed reply to the claim that they ‘snubbed’ the Montecito christening
The King meets European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen at an audience in Windsor Castle last week
A bulletin published on the Royal Family’s website showed a busy schedule of public duties from the week of February 25 to March 3, which may be a pointed reply to the claim that they ‘snubbed’ the Montecito christening.
The list shows how the Prince and Princess of Wales attended the Six Nations Rugby Match between Wales and England at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, on February 25.
The following day, the Princess Royal and her husband Captain Tim Laurence watched the International Rugby Match between France and Scotland at the Stade de France in Paris.
Later events saw the King meet European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen after Rishi Sunak’s revised Brexit agreement, while Prince William and his wife visited a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Wales — meeting vulnerable service users among a host of other engagements.
Inside ‘Princess Lilibet’s’ christening where Archie ‘danced with his sister to a playlist of Harry and Meghan’s wedding songs and guests were serenaded by a gospel choir’ – but royals didn’t attend
BY JESSICA TAYLOR AND HARRIET JOHNSTON FOR MAILONLINE
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hosted a christening for their daughter Lilibet at their £12million ($14million) mansion in California, it’s been revealed today.
The Duke, 38, and Duchess of Sussex, 41, hosted the religious ceremony, which was carried out by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Reverend John Taylor, last Friday.
People magazine reported that there were between 20 and 30 guests at the event, including Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and Lilibet’s godfather Tyler Perry.
They were serenaded by a gospel choir, who are believed to have performed Oh Happy Day and This Little Light of Mine — a song that was played at Meghan and Harry’s wedding.
Meanwhile an insider revealed that after the ceremony, ‘attendees were treated to an afternoon of food and dancing — with Archie enjoying a dance with his little sister!’
A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured in their 2021 Christmas card with Archie and Lilibet) has confirmed the couple threw a christening for ‘Princess Lilibet’ last week at their £12million Montecito home
A source also told the magazine that Lilibet’s aunt and uncle, the Prince and Princess of Wales, grandfather King Charles and step-grandmother, the Queen Consort, had been invited to the event but had not attended.
The news of the christening comes amid speculation over whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be at the King’s Coronation in the UK, after they received an invitation.
A spokesman for the couple confirmed they had been invited to the ceremony on May 6 (the same day as their eldest child Archie’s birthday) but did not comment on whether or not they had accepted the invitation.
Details of the warm ceremony may be seen to reflect Prince Harry’s disclosure last weekend that he ‘smothers’ his children with affection.
Lilibet Diana (pictured on her first birthday in 2022) was christened in a ceremony where guests were serenaded by a gospel choir
Tyler Perry (pictured in the Harry & Meghan documentary on Netflix) flew into Santa Barbara to attend the ceremony in his capacity as Lilibet’s godfather
In an interview with controversial therapist Gabor Mate, the Duke said: ‘It leaves me in position now, as a father to two kids of my own, making sure that I smother them with love and affection.’
He had been referring to claims he made in his bombshell memoir Spare that the Royal Family did not often physically touch one another.
It is perhaps no surprise that the couple hosted the party in their own home, as Meghan has previously discussed her attachment to the property as ‘free’ and full of ‘joy’.
Not many details have been given about decorations at the party, although Harry and Meghan’s mansion is reported to be kitted out with chic Soho House candles and the couple boast a grand piano in their sitting room, which was gifted to them by Perry.
Speaking in an interview with The Cut last year, Meghan said of her home: ‘We did everything we could to get this house. Because you walk in and go… Joy. And exhale. And calm. It’s healing. You feel free.’
One of the first features that Meghan and Harry saw was two palm trees, connected together at the bottom, which the Duke claimed represented the loved-up couple.
‘And now every day when Archie goes by us, he says, “Hi, Momma. Hi, Papa,”‘ explained the Duchess.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured on their wedding day in 2018) threw the ceremony at their Montecito mansion
Few details have been given about the christening but it was held in the plush, chic home of Harry and Meghan in Santa Barbara, California, of which royal fans saw glimpses in the couple’s Netflix documentary. Pictured: Meghan with Lilibet as a newborn
Harry also featured in the magazine interview, and briefly explained that he is in the middle of renovations for the home – fixing pipes, for example.
Perry’s involvement in the ceremony and as Lilibet’s godfather is also no surprise as the couple have been close friends with him since their move to the US and often speak fondly of him.
The Hollywood titan was spotted flying to Santa Barbara last week to meet Harry and Meghan, and reportedly changed into a suit before catching up with them – suggesting the dress code was smart for guests in attendance.
While the guests and the family – particularly little Archie – reportedly danced the afternoon away to a playlist which contained some of Harry and Meghan’s wedding songs, it is unclear exactly which tunes were played.
However, friend of the Sussexes Idris Elba, who played a DJ set at their wedding reception in 2018, has previously revealed some details of the music he used at that event.
In an appearance on BBC Radio 1Extra, Elba revealed Meghan had specifically requested he play a mix of Whitney Houston’s disco hit I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which he said got the crowd going. Another tune Meghan requested was Still D.R.E by Dr Dre.
A song which was most likely played at the christening party which holds special meaning to the Sussexes is 1960 hit Land of a Thousand Dances, to which the couple had their first dance.
Speaking about their wedding reception in £84million ($100million) Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, the Duchess said: ‘I just really wanted the music to be fun – even our first dance.’
However, if it was on the christening playlist, Harry was most likely the person who requested it, as Meghan joked in the documentary that she ‘always get[s] it wrong’ when she tries to think of the name of the track.
LA Bishop who christened Lilibet in Montecito was an ex-reporter who became Richard Nixon’s chief of staff
‘Lili’ was christened by the Bishop of Los Angeles, the Reverend John Taylor
The Bishop who christened the Sussexes’ daughter Princess Lilibet is a former newspaper reporter who was chief of staff for former US president Richard Nixon.
Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor – the Bishop of Los Angeles – baptised Harry and Meghan’s 21-month-old at their Montecito home in California on Friday.
Harry has been outspoken about his hatred of the media and his autobiography Spare makes clear his distrust and contempt for the press, particularly over the treatment of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
Bishop Taylor was a reporter and editor for twice-weekly Chula Vista Star News in the 1970s.
Nixon, who died in 1994, was the 37th president of the US and the only one to resign from office, following the Watergate scandal.
A profile in the Los Angeles Times described Bishop Taylor as one of Nixon’s closest confidants in later years and as co-executor of his estate.
He was also director of the Nixon library.
Nixon – a republican – used to call Bishop Taylor ‘our House liberal’.
He was the former president’s researcher and editorial assistant, before becoming his chief of staff between 1984 and 1990 before being ordained as a priest in 2004.
Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor (centre) is a former newspaper editor and the chief of staff for disgraced former US president Richard Nixon (left)
Nixon resigned in 1974 after he was implicated in the Watergate scandal following a cover-up when five men connected with his election campaign team were arrested after a break-in at at the offices of the Democratic Party’s national headquarters.
Bishop Taylor was elected as the seventh bishop of Los Angeles to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in December 2016 and took office in December 2017.
He is a father of four and a grandfather of two.
The diocese’s website says he has ‘devoted himself to promoting reconciliation, transparency’.
It adds: ‘In those called to leadership in the church, whether lay or ordained, he encourages the exercise of empathy and curiosity as tools of evangelism, to enrich relationships and build new ones across the barriers of difference and prejudice according to race, language, geography, orientation, identification, age, and socioeconomics.’