The christening of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s daughter, Princess Lilibet Diana, is being celebrated. Exclusive information obtained by PEOPLE confirms that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex christened their 21-month-old daughter last Friday in a private service at their Montecito, California, residence.
When reached by PEOPLE, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: “I can confirm that Princess Lilibet Diana was christened on Friday, March 3, by the bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the Rev John Taylor.”
A source claims that Kate Middleton, Prince William, King Charles, and Queen Camilla were invited but declined to attend the wedding of Meghan, 41, and Harry, 38.
Archie, 3, and Lilibet received the titles of prince and princess after their grandfather succeeded to the throne following the passing of Queen Elizabeth last September, by guidelines established by King George V in 1917. PEOPLE are aware that the palace will change the titles published on their website for Archie and Lili, which are now stated as “Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor” and “Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.”
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“The children’s titles have been a birthright since their grandfather became monarch,” a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told PEOPLE. “This matter has been settled for some time in alignment with Buckingham Palace.”
An insider tells PEOPLE that the intimate gathering on Friday had between 20 and 30 attendees, including Tyler Perry, Doria Ragland, Meghan, and an unidentified godmother. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed an afternoon of food and dancing, during which Archie danced with his younger sister.
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Prior to the christening, Perry was seen arriving in Montecito last week. He flew in from Atlanta for the event along with a gospel choir of 10 people “Oh Happy Day” and “This Little Light of Mine” — a song that was played at Meghan and Harry’s wedding.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE in January, Prince Harry expressed his desire for his children to have a meaningful relationship with the royal family. “I’ve said before that I’ve wanted a family, not an institution—so of course, I would love nothing more than for our children to have relationships with members of my family, and they do with some, which brings me great joy,” Harry said.
In his memoir, Spare, Harry also talked about his kids’ unique encounter with Queen Elizabeth just before she passed away. “I couldn’t stop picturing them with Granny. The final visit. Archie making deep, chivalrous bows, his baby sister Lilibet cuddling the monarch’s shins. Sweetest children, Granny said, sounding bemused. She’d expected them to be a bit more. . American, I think? Meaning, in her mind, more rambunctious,” Harry wrote.
Tyler Perry stated in December that he is Lilibet’s godfather. Lilibet was born in Santa Barbara, California, on June 4, 2021. The couple requested him to accept the position in 2021 after Lili was born, the filmmaker remembered in the final episode of the Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan.
Perry said Harry and Meghan “were pretty serious on the phone” when they called to ask when usually their chats are more lighthearted.
“I go, ‘Okay, what’s going on?’ They said, ‘Well, we’d like for you to be Lili’s godfather.’ I go, ‘Whoa,’ ” Perry, who offered his California home to the couple after they left the U.K. in 2020, continued. “I had to take a minute to take that in.” “And I thought, ‘I’d be honored. I’d absolutely be honored,’ ” he added.