Prince Charles spoiled Prince Harry’s christening for Diana: ‘Shutters came down’

Prince Harry 'doesn't have much of his purpose left' says host

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Much speculation has surrounded the christening of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter Lilibet Diana since her birth in June. Questions remain over whether it will happen here in the UK, in the US, or even at all. Some reports suggest Harry wishes for his daughter to be christened at Windsor with the Queen present. The Duke of Sussex was christened there himself, as was Lili’s brother Archie two years ago.

A royal source told Eden Confidential in July that the Sussexes are “happy to wait until circumstances allow” for Lili to be christened.

Among members of the Royal Family, christenings have been very special, and often public affairs.

Pictures have often been released of members of the Firm gathered together for the ceremony.

Meghan and Harry broke tradition with Archie’s christening, however, opting for a private and close-knit ceremony.

Since the baptism of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Victoria in 1841, royal babies have all worn the same lace christening gown, or at least a replica of it.

The Queen commissioned her dressmaker, Angela Kelly, to create an exact copy of the original in 2004.

This was then worn by James, Viscount of Severn, at his 2008 christening.

Harry wore the original at his christening in 1984, a day that Charles put his foot in it with a comment described as “tactless” by royal author Angela Levin in her book ‘Harry: Conversations with the Prince’.

The ceremony took place on December 21, 1984 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, when Harry was only three months old.

Diana spoke candidly about her battle with postpartum depression in her interview with Martin Bashir in 1995, and admitted this made her bulimia worse.

Although she chose to hide her mood when royal duties demanded, she admitted the joy of Harry’s christening was ruined by her then-husband.

She told Andrew Morton in 1991 that Charles made a comment to her mother which triggered a furious reaction.

She said: “Charles went to talk to my mother at Harry’s christening and said: ‘We were so disappointed ‒ we thought it would be a girl.’

“Mummy snapped his head off, saying: ‘You should realise how lucky you are to have a child that’s normal.’”

Diana continued: “Ever since that day, the shutters have come down — and that’s what he does when he gets somebody answering back at him.”

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Harry’s christening was the cause of several rows within the Royal Family.

A 1984 article in the Daily Express reported that Princess Anne went game shooting with her then-husband Mark Phillips on the day of the christening.

A Buckingham Palace statement at the time said: “Unfortunately neither of them could make it.”

Royal correspondent Ashley Walton wrote Anne was left hurt at Charles not picking her as Prince William’s godmother, and this escalated at the second snub.

Ms Walton wrote: “Her displeasure grew into a full-scale family row when she learned that her younger brother Andrew was to be godfather to three-month-old Prince Harry, while she was again omitted.

“The Royal Family confidently expected Anne and Mark to arrive yesterday for the 11am ceremony.

“But as the baby was being baptised, the guns were blazing 100 miles away at Gatcombe Park.”

The decision to leave Anne off the list of six godparents also annoyed Prince Philip, Ms Walton claimed.

She said: “There were rumours that Charles and his father were not on speaking terms as a result.”

Angela Levin wrote in her book about Harry that Diana had been annoyed she could not choose William’s godparents as Charles and the Queen had insisted they had to be “part of the royal establishment, relatives of the Royal Family or aristocrats”.

Diana, Ms Levin wrote, had more leeway with Harry’s godparents.

Although two of her first suggestions were rejected by the Queen, the replacements were approved.

Ultimately, Harry’s godparents were: Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (later Chatto); Prince Andrew; Diana’s old flatmate Carolyn Bartholomew; the Queen’s friend Lady Celia Vestey; Bryan Organ and Gerald Ward — both Charles’ friends.

‘Harry: Conversations with the Prince’ was written by Angela Levin and published by John Blake in 2018. It is available here.

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