Baby Archie's Christening Is Going to Be Minus One Major Royal Guest
It's tough to coordinate all the royal schedules.
Baby Archie's christening is sure to have its fair share of high-profile guests, but according to the Daily Mail, one power player has such a packed schedule that she can't make it to Saturday's ceremony. No, it's not Serena Williams — though Meghan Markle's BFF won't be attending due to a little work event she has going on called Wimbledon — it's the queen. The British paper reports that the queen already has a prior engagement and she won't be able to attend Archie's christening tomorrow at Windsor Castle.
The ceremony has actually already been moved to accommodate a royal. Previously, the private ceremony was supposed to happen today, Friday, July 5, but Prince Charles's plans — he's in Wales — meant that the event had to be pushed a day later. The queen will be in Sandringham, her weekend home, to rest up after a trip, which is something she often does after her royal engagements. It's not an unusual event for her to miss out on a christening, either. Last year, when Kate Middleton and Prince William christened Prince Louis, the queen wasn't in attendance. Though she won't be present, Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, is set to be a part of the ceremony alongside Archie's still-unannounced godparents.
"There is huge support for the couple in not wanting to conform to tradition. They are young, they are striking out on a different path from other members of the Royal Family and there is enormous goodwill for them. But they shouldn’t do that without regard for tradition," a senior Buckingham Palace staff member said. "Her Majesty was already scheduled to be in Scotland for her annual Holyrood Week and had a prior engagement at the weekend. There is a feeling amongst some that they should have been more accommodating about the date."
The queen will be wrapping up her annual Holyrood Week before Saturday's christening. The Daily Mail describes it as a "non-negotiable" week in her calendar and involves several appearances in Scotland. During the trip, she stays at the Duke of Edinburgh's Palace at Holyrood House, which gives the event its name. Meghan and Harry understand, reports say, and the feeling is mutual. The queen, aware that the event's date has already been moved once, didn't want the couple to change it again on her account. She's got engagements to juggle and she gets that they want to have the christening as soon as possible.
"They went to her office with the date and a collective decision was made," a source noted. "The Queen has had the U.S. state visit and Holyrood Week in quick succession and has had this weekend with the Duke of Edinburgh in her diary for a long time."
Though Meghan and Harry have stated that they want to keep Archie's godparents' identities a secret, the Daily Mail noted that two of her best friends, Lindsay Roth and Genevieve Hillis, accompanied her to Wimbledon earlier this week. The three attended Northwestern University together and Hillis and Markle were both part of the same sorority during their time there.
"While this was the best weekend for friends and family coming over from the U.S., they did just really want to hold the christening as soon as possible, before everyone disappears for the summer," the palace source added, also mentioning that several family meetings occurred before the decision was made to hold the christening on Saturday. "As a family, they took a collective decision that this was the best option."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will perform the baptism and the entire event will be private, though the palace did mention that photos will be released to the public shortly after.