Why Prince Harry Is Putting the Queen in a "Difficult Position" by Asking Her to Attend Lilibet's Christening

Royal biographer Angela Levin says Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wish for the Queen to attend Lilibet's christening puts her in a difficult position.

of sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the royal air force from the balcony of buckingham palace on july 10, 2018 in london, england the 100th birthday of the raf, which was founded on on 1 april 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new queens colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over buckingham palace photo by max mumbyindigogetty images
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)
  • Recently, a royal source said that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want to have their daughter, Lilibet Diana, christened in Windsor and for the Queen to be present. The couple are also reportedly "happy to wait until circumstances allow" for the Queen to attend.
  • Royal biographer Angela Levin says Harry and Meghan's wish to plan Lilibet's christening around the Queen's schedule might put the monarch in a "very difficult position" since she has missed the christenings of other great-grandchildren.
  • The Queen wasn't able to attend the christening of Prince William and Kate Middleton's youngest son, Prince Louis in 2018 or of Harry and Meghan's son, Archie Harrison, in 2019.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (opens in new tab) might be inadvertently putting the Queen in an awkward spot, some royal experts say.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (opens in new tab) recently welcomed their second child, daughter Lilibet Diana (opens in new tab) (Lili for short, whose first name pays homage to the Queen's childhood nickname (opens in new tab)) and reportedly want to have her christening in Windsor with her great-grandmother, the Queen, present. (opens in new tab)

"Harry told several people that they want to have Lili christened at Windsor, just like her brother," a royal source told the Daily  (opens in new tab)Mail's (opens in new tab) Richard Eden for a recent edition of his Eden Confidential column. The source added that Harry and Meghan (opens in new tab) are "happy to wait until circumstances allow" to have Lili's christening in Windsor when the Queen can attend.

Even though literally everything about this sounds ultra sweet and considerate (they want to celebrate one of Lili's early milestones back in the United Kingdom, they want to actively work to have a member of Harry's family they've always said they were close to present, and are willing to work around the Queen's very busy schedule to make that happen), at least one royal expert says it's actually potentially the opposite.

Royal biographer Angela Levin, author of Harry: A Biography of a Prince (opens in new tab), says the Sussexes' wishes put pressure on the Queen to attend Lili's christening when she hasn't always attended those of other great-grandchildren's. 

"That puts her in a very difficult position because she can't say that she is not free for years," Levin told TalkRadio TV (per the Daily Mail (opens in new tab)). "She didn't go to Louis', the third child of Prince William and Kate. So it's not a spiteful thing."

The Queen missed the christening of Harry and Meghan's two-year-old son, Archie (opens in new tab), in 2019 because she had prior commitments. That's not super surprising, considering how jam-packed her schedule is. For context, in 2019, the Queen carried out 295 engagements (opens in new tab), a number that already represents a major cutback for the 95-year-old royal. In 2010, she carried out a mind-blowing 444 engagements, with 387 of those taking place in the United Kingdom and 57 during overseas tours, according to analysis by the Sunday Times (opens in new tab)

The Queen (opens in new tab) is known for putting her duty to the Crown first, of course, but she's also known for her fierce dedication to her family, so even if the timing doesn't work out to allow her to attend Lili's christening, the fact that Harry and Meghan want her there doesn't seem like it could possibly be a bad thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.