Oprah Winfrey and Princess Eugenie have been touted as possible godmothers to four-month-old Lilibet Diana amid speculation her christening will be held in California instead of the UK
Image: SussexRoyal via Getty Images)
Lilibet Diana, affectionately known as Lili and who is named after the Queen and after Harry’s mum Diana, was born in a hospital in Santa Barbara, California in June.
Her parents were originally expected to return to Britain to have their four-month-old baptised at Windsor Castle like their son Archie, two.
But a palace insider has told the Telegraph that a UK christening “is not happening”.
Instead, Lilibet is likely to be christened into the Episcopal Church of the US, a member church of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
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The decision would make a break in tradition and make Lilibet the first of the Queen’s grandchildren or great-grandchildren not to receive a royal baptism within the church of England.
It would also mean that it would be unlikely that the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would attend, according to royal biographer Ingrid Seward.
She told The Sun that if Lilibet is christening in the United States, “maybe” Harry’s friends would fly out.
She added: “I don’t think any members of the immediate Royal Family would have time [to fly over]. Their schedules are organised six months in advance.”
If she is baptised in California, Lilibet would not automatically be considered a member of the Church of England, unless she came to Britain and joined a CofE congregation.
Anyone can say they are a member of the Church of England if they worship in a CofE church and are not a member of an incompatible religion.
It would have no effect on Lilibet’s standing in the line of succession.
Princess Eugenie would be an “obvious” choice for Lilibet’s godmother, as the 31-year-old has remained close to the Sussexes and recently lent her support to Meghan’s 40X40 Archewell mentorship programme.
Zara or Mike Tindall are also possible godparent choices, Ingrid said, adding that Lilibet would likely have American godparents as Meghan has “obviously got lots and lots of American friends”.
Among them, “speculation is rife” that Oprah Winfrey could be asked to become Lilibet’s godmother, after hosting the couple’s explosive interview earlier this year.
Meghan’s friends Jessica Mulroney, Benita Litt, Jessica’s daughter Ivy and Benita’s daughters Rylan and Remi are also in the running.
But the royal expert added she would be “very surprised” if the couple chose to hold the christening in the US.
She said: “Harry’s great-grandmother is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England – and Meghan was inducted into the Church of England.
“If they wanted, Harry and Meghan could have it privately in the Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Queen is not going to say no, she may not be able to be there herself but she’s not going to say they can’t have it there.
“The only reason [it wouldn’t be held in the UK] would be if Meghan didn’t want to come over here with the baby. That would be the only reason I could think of.”
Either way, the Sussexes are famously particular about their privacy and unlikely to release details about their daughter’s baptism.
If they do decide to stay in America, they may not publicly announce the date or details about the ceremony.
Ingrid said: “If it happens in the UK obviously people will find out, but if it happens [in California], I don’t know that there will be any official announcement.
“They’ll have their own Vogue cameraman there, there will definitely be photos but they may not release any.”