Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hosted a christening for their daughter Lilibet at their £12 million ($14 million) mansion in California, it has been revealed today.
The Duke, 38, and Duchess of Sussex, 41, hosted the religious ceremony, which was performed last Friday by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Rev. John Taylor.
People magazine reported that there were between 20 and 30 guests at the event, including Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and Lilibet’s godfather Tyler Perry.
They were serenaded by a gospel choir, believed to have sung Oh Happy Day and This Little Light of Mine – a song that was played at Meghan and Harry’s wedding.
Meanwhile, an insider revealed that after the ceremony, “those in attendance were treated to an afternoon of food and dancing – while Archie enjoyed a dance with his little sister!”
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured on their 2021 Christmas card with Archie and Lilibet) has confirmed that the couple threw a christening party for ‘Princess Lilibet’ at their £12 million home in Montecito last week.
A source also told the magazine that Lilibet’s aunt and uncle, the Prince and Princess of Wales, grandfather King Charles, and step-grandmother, the Queen Consort, were invited to the event but did not attend.
The news of the christening comes amid speculation over whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be attending the King’s coronation in the UK, having received an invitation.
A spokesperson for the couple confirmed they were invited to the ceremony on May 6 (the same day as their eldest child Archie’s birthday), but did not say whether or not they had accepted the invitation.
Details of the warm ceremony may echo Prince Harry’s revelation last weekend that he “smothered” his children with affection.
Lilibet Diana (pictured on her first birthday in 2022) was baptized in a ceremony where guests were serenaded by a gospel choir
Tyler Perry (pictured in the Harry & Meghan documentary on Netflix) flew to Santa Barbara to attend the ceremony in his capacity as Lilibet’s godfather
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured on their wedding day in 2018) gave the ceremony at their mansion in Montecito
Few details have been given about the christening, but it was held at Harry and Meghan’s luxurious, posh home in Santa Barbara, California, which royal fans got a glimpse of in the couple’s Netflix documentary. Pictured: Meghan with Lilibet as a newborn
In an interview with controversial therapist Gabor Mate, the Duke said, “It leaves me in position now, as the father of two children of my own, making sure I smother them with love and affection.”
He was referring to claims he made in his bombshell memoir Spare that the royal family did not often physically touch each other.
It may come as no surprise that the couple hosted the party in their own home, as Meghan has previously discussed her attachment to the property as “free” and full of “joy.”
Not many details have been given about the decorations at the party, although Harry and Meghan’s mansion is reportedly outfitted with chic Soho House candles and the couple has a grand piano in their sitting room, gifted to them by Perry.
In an interview with The Cut last year, Meghan said of her house: “We did everything we could to get this house. ‘Cause you walk in and go… Joy. And exhale. And calm. It’s healing. You feel free.’
One of the first features Meghan and Harry saw was two palm trees, joined at the bottom, which the Duke claimed represented the beloved couple.
“And now Archie says every day when he comes to see us: ‘Hello Mum. Hello Papa,'” the Duchess explained.
Harry was also featured in the magazine interview briefly explaining that he is doing renovations for the house, for example repairing pipes.
Perry’s involvement in the ceremony and as Lilibet’s godfather is also no surprise as the couple have been good friends with him since moving to the US and they often speak fondly of him.
The Hollywood titan was spotted last week flying to Santa Barbara to meet Harry and Meghan, and reportedly donned a suit before catching up with them – suggesting the dress code was smart for the guests in attendance.
While the guests and family — especially little Archie — reportedly danced all afternoon to a playlist of some of Harry and Meghan’s wedding songs, it’s unclear exactly what tunes were played.
However, friend of the Sussexes Idris Elba, who played a DJ set at their 2018 wedding reception, has previously revealed some details of the music he used at that event.
In an appearance on BBC Radio 1Extra, Elba revealed that Meghan had specifically asked to play a mix of Whitney Houston’s disco hit I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which he said got the crowd going. Another song Meghan asked for was Still DRE by Dr. Dre.
A song most likely played at the christening that holds special significance for the Sussexes is the 1960 hit Land of a Thousand Dances, to which the couple had their first dance.
Speaking of their wedding reception in the £84 million ($100 million) Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, the Duchess said, “I just wanted the music to be fun — even our first dance.”
However, if it was on the christening playlist, Harry was most likely the person who asked for it, as Meghan joked in the documentary that she “always gets[s] it’s wrong’ as she tries to think of the name of the song.