Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Daughter Lilibet Christened in Intimate Ceremony
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter Princess Lilibet Diana has been christened. A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed to PEOPLE "that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3 by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor," a statement that, per Sky News, marks the first time the 21-month-old has been publicly referred to as Princess, a title she took on after her grandfather, King Charles III, acceded to the throne. Her older brother Archie is now also afforded the title of Prince under rules set out by King George V in 1917.
According to an insider who spoke to PEOPLE, Lilibet's christening was a small and intimate ceremony held at the couple's home in Montecito, California. Approximately by 20 to 30 people attended, including Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, and Lilibet's godfather, Tyler Perry, who was spotted arriving in Montecito last week. An unnamed godmother also attended. Notably missing, however, were family members from across the pond. Although King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince William, and Kate Middleton were reportedly invited to the ceremony, the insider said none attended.
During the ceremony, a 10-person gospel choir, which flew in from Atlanta with Perry, sang "Oh Happy Day" and "This Little Light of Mine." The song holds plenty of significance for the couple, as it was played at their wedding in 2018. Following the ceremony, attendees were treated to an afternoon of food and dancing, with Insider even revealing that Lilibet and Archie adorably shared a dance together.
Lilibet's christening ceremony was much different from her big brother's. Archie was christened at the late Queen Elizabeth's private chapel at Windsor Castle back in July 2019. For the occasion, Archie wore a handmade replica of the royal christening gown, which has been worn by royal infants for the last 11 years. The ceremony was attended Markle's mother, William and Kate, Charles and Camila, and other members of the royal family, with official royal portraits released shortly after.
Much of the reason for the differences has to do with Harry and Markle's decision to retire as working royals. After first announcing their decision to take a step back as senior royals in 2020, the couple relocated to California. They have only made a handful of trips back to the U.K. in the years since. Amid continued reports of a royal rift between the Sussexes and other members of the British royals, a spokesperson for the Sussexes confirmed earlier this month that the couple "recently received email correspondence from His Majesty's office regarding the coronation." It has not yet been revealed if the couple will attend the coronation in May.