Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Reportedly Plan to Christen Lilibet in California

A California christening would dash hopes of a timely royal family reconciliation.

london, england march 09 prince harry, duke of sussex and meghan, duchess of sussex attend the commonwealth day service 2020 at westminster abbey on march 09, 2020 in london, england photo by karwai tangwireimage
(Image credit: Karwai Tang)

Practically since she was born this past June, rumors have swirled that Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, daughter of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, would help create a path toward reconciliation for the royal family’s rifts. In particular, it was thought that her christening—typically a big, full-family affair for the royals—might be the excuse Harry and Meghan needed to return to the U.K. and reopen the channels of communication between Harry and Prince William, whose reported feud has been ongoing.

It was reported that Meghan and Harry wanted to christen Lilibet (whose nickname is “Lili”) in a traditional way at Windsor Palace, with the Queen and the rest of the royals in attendance. However, wrenches were already being thrown in that plan shortly after it was reported, with sources claiming that the sour relationship between Meghan Markle and the British press presented too much of an obstacle. Even more recently, another royal source claimed that it was actually Prince William who had vetoed Harry and Meghan’s wishes to christen their daughter at Windsor, suggesting that the family infighting won’t be easily quelled.

Now, the saga of where Lili will be christened may be coming to a close. Rather than using the occasion to return to the U.K. as an olive branch, royal sources speaking to the Daily Mail now say that it’s unlikely Lilibet will even be christened in the Church of England, and that her parents may opt for an Episcopal ceremony in California. Per the publication, the move raises concerns about whether “the Queen will ever get to meet the great granddaughter named after her face to face.”

While a “spokeswoman for the Sussexes said the plans for the christening were still being finali[zed] and that claims to the contrary were 'mere speculation',” according to the publication, an Episcopal ceremony would mean that Lilibet isn't an automatic member of the Church of England, as the rest of the royals are.

Although it’s not set in stone, a christening in California would also likely dash the most obvious path to reconciliation between the royal family members, especially Harry and William. Nevertheless, with the holidays coming up, perhaps new opportunities to set things right will spring up before the end of the year.