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Entertainment: What to expect from the christening of Prince Harry and Meghan's daughter Lilibet Diana

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The christening of Prince Harry and Meghan's daughter is likely to break from royal tradition as the couple shun the old ways embraced by the monarchy.

Lilibet Diana was born on June 4 but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have so far kept everything about her private.

No photos of the baby, who is eighth-in-line to the British throne, have been shared publicly.

Lilibet's baptism is expected to be very different from that of her older brother Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, which also marked a separation from how things had been done by the royal family for generations.

However, members of the royal family not need to be baptised to remain in the line of succession.

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The date and location

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to have Lilibet Diana baptised in the United States, where she was born.

The Sussexes moved to North America in late 2019 and made California their new home in mid-20, buying a mansion in Montecito in Santa Barbara.

It is highly unlikely they will return to England for the ceremony, however, with the Sussexes one never can say for certain.

According to The Telegraph UK's associate editor Camilla Tominey, royal insiders have now ruled out Harry and Meghan returning to the UK for the baptism.

A palace insider told the publication, "There will not be a christening in the UK. It is not happening", while another source suggested it was "highly unlikely".

It follows confirmation from the Sussexes' spokesperson that the couple would not join Prince William for a party to honour Princess Diana at Kensington Palace next week.

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Instead, Tominey suggests Lilibet could be baptised into the Episcopal Church of the US.

She said the situation was "likely", adding the Episcopal Church "is member church of the worldwide Anglican Communion".

"Bishop Michael Curry, who delivered the sermon at the couple's wedding at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, is the head of the Episcopal Church and could officiate," Tominey writes.

However, Lilibet "would not automatically be considered a 'member' of the Church of England, until she came to Britain and joined a Church of England congregation".

Lili's brother Archie was baptised into the Church of England.

Archie's christening took place on July 6, 2019, inside the Queen's private chapel at Windsor Castle, two months after his birth.

It had been expected that Harry and Meghan would follow the same time period and baptise their daughter in August.

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Harry and Meghan will surely create a ceremony where modernity meets tradition, much like they did with their son by incorporating their own style within the day.


The guests

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were heavily criticised for keeping many of the details of Archie's christening private, and Lily's baptism could follow the same format.

An afterparty in the form of a morning or afternoon tea with their guests at their Montecito mansion could be how they celebrate their daughter's christening.

Harry and Meghan opted to exclude the media and the public from the day and chose not to reveal the names of Archie's godparents.

One of two official photographs released to celebrate the christening of Archie in 2019. © Getty One of two official photographs released to celebrate the christening of Archie in 2019.

Buckingham Palace described it as a "small private ceremony" while it was also called "intimate".


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Archie was baptised in front of close family and friends, but the full list of the 25 guests was not made public.

An official photographed released later showed a small number of those who were there including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Doria Ragland and Princess Diana's sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale.

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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh did not attend as they were staying at Sandringham with prior royal engagements.


The gown

Baby Lili could miss out on wearing a royal gown steeped in history.

Harry and Meghan are unlikely to dress her in the robe worn by Archie and his cousins as the Queen probably won't want to send the precious garment via the post.

Archie was dressed in a replica of the original christening gown first seen on one of Queen Victoria's children nearly 200 years ago.

The garment – made for the baptism of the monarch's eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, in 1841 – had been used so many times in the years since that it had become damaged beyond repair.

a hand holding a baby: Prince George wearing the replica christening gown based on the original made for Queen Victoria's daughter. © Getty Prince George wearing the replica christening gown based on the original made for Queen Victoria's daughter.

Before it was locked away for good, Queen Elizabeth asked her senior dresser and wardrobe curator Angela Kelly to make a new gown for future royal christenings.

Ms Kelly travelled to Italy to employ the finest lace makers and embroiderers and used a very unconventional method to age the garment.

Black tea was used to dye the new christening robe to get it looking authentically old — Yorkshire tea, in fact, which is the strongest, according to Ms Kelly.

As for Meghan, the duchess wore a cream dress by Dior's creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. It was the third time since her marriage she had worn the French luxury label.

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The font and water

Another piece of royal tradition unlikely to be included in Lili's christening is the Lily Font.

The silver gilt baptismal font was commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 and used in royal christenings ever since.

It was also used for the baptisms for Archie's cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The priceless piece first left London in 2015 for the christening of Princess Charlotte at the Church of Mary Magdalene in Sandringham.

But it's very unlikely to be shipped to the US due to its age and historical significance.

Water from the River Jordan was also used in Archie's baptism. But as this is available around the world, it's likely to be included in her ceremony.


The godparents

Harry and Meghan are expected to choose close friends and even family as godparents for their daughter.

They are said to be close to Princess Eugenie, who could have the honour of being godmother.

a man and a woman wearing a hat: The second of just two photos released from Archie's christening in July, 2019. © AAP The second of just two photos released from Archie's christening in July, 2019.

Prince Harry and Meghan didn't reveal the names of Archie's godparents but nearly a year later, we finally learned who some of them are.

Harry's former nanny Tiggy Pettifer (formerly Legge-Bourke) is one of Archie's godmothers while Mark Dyer, a former equerry to the Prince of Wales, is one of his godfathers.

Another of Archie's godfather's is Charlie van Straubenzee, a close friend of Harry and his brother Prince William.


The photos

Harry and Meghan could use their daughter's christening to reveal the first photo of her but we're likely to only see a very select few, at most.

Misan Harriman - who took the photo of Harry and Meghan to announce their second pregnancy - could be chosen to capture the day. He also was behind the lens for a photo released the day after the Oprah interview with baby Archie.

Just two photographs were released by Buckingham Palace for Archie's christening, a group portrait and an intimate photo of Harry and Meghan with their son.

The official photos were taken by photographer Chris Allerton inside the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, which was also used for the wedding pictures of his parents.

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