Inside Lili’s California christening! Prince Harry and Meghan threw celebration at home

By Jessica Taylor and Harriet Johnston For Mailonline

13:50 08 Mar 2023, updated 13:51 08 Mar 2023

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hosted a christening for their daughter Lilibet at their $14 million mansion in California, it’s been revealed today. 

The Duke, 28, and Duchess of Sussex, 41, hosted the religious ceremony,  which was carried out by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Reverend John Taylor, last Friday. 

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, who performed ‘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, ‘attendees were treated to an afternoon of food and dancing — with Archie enjoying a dance with his little sister!’

A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured in their 2021 Christmas card with Archie and Lilibet) has confirmed the couple threw a christening for ‘Princess Lilibet’ last week at their $14.7million Montecito home

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, had been invited to the stateside event but had not attended.

The news of the christening comes amid speculation over whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will attend the King’s Coronation in the UK, after they received an invitation.

A spokesperson for the couple confirmed they had been invited to the ceremony on 6 May (the same day as their eldest child Archie’s birthday) but did not comment on whether or not they had accepted the invitation.

Details of the warm ceremony reflect Prince Harry’s disclosure last weekend that he ‘smothers’ his children with affection.

Lilibet Diana (pictured on her first birthday in 2022) was christened in a ceremony where guests were serenaded by a gospel choir Tyler Perry (pictured in Harry & Meghan on Netflix) flew into 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) threw the ceremony at their Montecito mansion Few details have been given about the christening but it was held in the plush, chic home of Harry and Meghan in Santa Barbara, California, of which royal fans saw glimpses 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 a father to two kids of my own, making sure that I smother them with love and affection.’

He had been referring to claims he made in his bombshell memoir Spare that the royal family did not often physically touch one another.

It is perhaps 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 decorations at the party, although Harry and Meghan’s $14 million mansion is reported to be kitted out with chic Soho House candles and the couple boast a grand piano in their sitting room, which was gifted to them by Mr Perry.

Speaking in an interview with The Cut last year, Meghan said of her home: ‘We did everything we could to get this house. Because you walk in and go… Joy. And exhale. And calm. It’s healing. You feel free.’ 

One of the first features of the home that Meghan and Harry saw was two palm trees, connected together at the bottom, which the Duke claimed represented the loved-up couple.

‘And now every day when Archie goes by us, he says, “Hi, Momma. Hi, Papa,”‘ explained the Duchess.

Harry also featured in the magazine interview, and briefly explained that he is in the middle of renovations for the home – fixing pipes, for example.

Mr Perry’s involvement in the ceremony and as Lilibet’s godfather is also no surprise as the couple have been close friends with him since their move to the US and often speak fondly of him.

The Hollywood titan was spotted flying to Santa Barbara last week to meet Harry and Meghan, and reportedly changed into a suit before catching up with them – suggesting the dress code was smart for guests in attendance.

While the guests and the family – particularly little Archie – reportedly danced the afternoon away to a playlist which contained some of Harry and Meghan’s wedding songs, it is unclear exactly which tunes were played.

However, friend of the Sussexes Idris Elba, who played a DJ set at their wedding reception in 2018, has previously revealed some details of the music that may give an idea into what the playlist looked like at the christening.

In an appearance on BBC Radio 1Extra, Elba revealed Meghan had specifically requested he play a mix of Whitney Houston’s disco hit I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which he said got the crowd going. Another tune Meghan requested was Still D.R.E by Dr Dre.

A song which was most likely played at the christening party which holds special meaning to the Sussexes is 1960 hit Land of a Thousand Dances, to which the couple had their first dance. 

Speaking about their wedding reception in $100 million Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, the Duchess said: ‘I just really 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 requested it, as Meghan joked in the documentary that she ‘always get[s] it wrong’ when she tries to think of the name of the track.