Changes in the schedule for the christening of royal baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor now mean that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the great grandparents to the honoree, won’t be able to attend the ceremony at Windsor Castle.
The Daily Mail reports that initially, the christening was supposed to take place on July 4, American Independence Day, but when Prince Charles, the baby’s grandfather, could not attend, it was moved to Friday, July 5, which then ran into trouble with the monarch’s calendar. Now it seems that Prince Charles will attend, but Queen Elizabeth and her husband will be out of town for the weekend at their Sandringham estate.
The initial date was selected to accommodate Doria Ragland, the Duchess of Sussex’s mother, and the unnamed godparents, but they conflicted with Prince Harry’s side of the family.
It seems that after a family conference, Friday was selected, as Prince Charles would be back from his week in Wales for the celebration of 50 years as the Prince of Wales.
While Queen Elizabeth wanted to attend the christening of Archie Harrison, she has not been able to attend the baptisms of all of her great-grandchildren — she also missed Prince Louis’ christening — and so the palace is saying that her absence is not too unusual.
#MeghanMarkle & #PrinceHarry will keep Archie's godparents a secret at christening https://t.co/HwnvF3fUgN via @MailOnline So much secrecy around the pregnancy, birth & now even the baptism! The Queen's been careful to distance herself by not attending. Makes one wonder.
— Sarah Whalen (@SarahWhalen7) July 4, 2019
Buckingham Palace sources say that Queen Elizabeth is a head of state, and as such, her schedule is booked often a year in advance. That being said, several sources believe that the monarch should have been a priority when choosing the date.
One palace source says that it’s understood that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex want to do things their way.
“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. 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 among some that they should have been more accommodating about the date.”
Holyrood Week, which is known to the whole royal family, is one of the “nonnegotiable” dates in the queen’s diary. For the monarch, it was of more importance that Prince Charles, the child’s grandfather, be able to attend the special day in Windsor with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.