King Charles has many grandchildren to share his love with. Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis all live close by, though their cousins, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, are all much, much further away. Harry and Meghan’s children reside in California, meaning Charles hasn’t had much of an opportunity to spend quality time with them.
Charles was crowned on May 6, the same day his grandchild Archie turned 4. Reports state that the new monarch made a toast to honor the boy, as neither Archie nor Lilibet were in attendance. Before long, Lilibet will turn two years of age, and unless there’s a dramatic change, it looks unlikely that Charles will be able to celebrate his granddaughter’s birthday in person either.
That said, the king won’t be forgetting Lilibet’s birthday, of course. In fact, reports insist he is planning on sending her the cutest present…
Prince Harry’s trip to the UK for King Charles’s coronation was a quick one – he reportedly left directly after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Harry’s children Lilibet and Archie didn’t attend the coronation
While seated in the Abbey, Harry spoke lengthily with his cousin and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, before the proceedings began. He greeted several guests and seemed in good spirits; many focused on the Duke during the ceremony to see how he would react.
Though Harry might not be a fan of the monarchy anymore, he joined the other guests in one of many refrains of “God Save The King.”
By all accounts, Prince William and King Charles have reportedly chosen not to read Spare, Harry’s explosive tell-all memoir in which he leveled several new claims against the royals. His relationships with his brother and father are naturally at a low point, and there were reportedly no signs of the three of them reconciling while Harry was in the UK.
Speaking with The Sun, lip-reading expert Jerey Freeman picked up several things Harry is said to have told Brooksbank before the coronation ceremony began. According to him, the Duke was moaning, muttering: “I’m fed up with the way they treat me.”
Harry had reportedly been invited to the family lunch, but didn’t go. According to the Daily Mail, King Charles was “genuinely quite disappointed that he didn’t stay.” However, while the king was sad, other royals reportedly “breathed a sigh of relief” that Harry avoided the lunch.
Charles toasted the three grandchildren in attendance on his special day at the buffet-style lunch — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Then, the king toasted “those that weren’t there,” a nod thought to include Archie and Lilibet.
He went on to wish his young grandson a very happy birthday “wherever he was.”
“It was apparently a very sweet moment,” a source told the Daily Mail.
King Charles “very emotional” first meeting with Lilibet
Harry traveled alone to the coronation, with Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet remaining in the US to celebrate Archie’s birthday. Whether that was the sole reason for Meghan staying behind, we will probably never know, but we do know that tensions between the Sussexes and the British Royal Family are high – who knows if their relationship ever will be repaired.
Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet traveled to the UK last year for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration. During their stay, Lilibet celebrated her first birthday, and Charles was said to be “absolutely thrilled” to have the chance to see her and her big brother.
At the time, a royal source told BBC that Charles and Lilibet – now a princess – had a “very emotional” first meeting.
“It was fantastic to see them. It was wonderful to have them back in Britain,” the source said. “The prince and the duchess were absolutely thrilled to see them. He said it was also ‘very, very special’ for [then-Prince] Charles to spend time with his grandson, Archie, now aged three.”
The source added: “He hadn’t met Lili, his granddaughter, and so to meet her was very emotional, a very, very wonderful thing.”
Fans saw more of Archie and Lilibet in Harry and Meghan’s Netflix series. The couple has been notoriously restrictive with regards sharing pictures of their children, wanting instead to keep things private where possible.
King Charles plans on giving Lilibet the “ultimate surprise” for her birthday
Lilibet reportedly celebrated her first birthday in the UK with a big cake. They had gathered a small number of guests for an intimate backyard picnic at their Frogmore Cottage home, and the occasion marked a rare opportunity for Archie and Lilibet to bond with family members they don’t otherwise get to see.
Lilibet’s second birthday, on June 4, will be celebrated at her family’s home in Montecito, California. No plans have been revealed for the big day, but Harry and Meghan have proven themselves well-versed in making the most out occasions to celebrate. With Lillibet turning two, she’ll most likely have a full day of surprises, including lavish gifts and plenty of love.
Princess Beatrice is reportedly the only royal to have visited Harry and Meghan in the US. King Charles will not be able to be there for Lilibet’s big day, though reports suggest that he wants to make sure to celebrate his granddaughter’s birthday in the best way possible.
According to New Idea, as reported by Express, Charles is planning on giving Lilibet a lovely present for her 2nd birthday. The king wants to give the little girl a gift that she “will use and be hers.”
“Charles has had his aides looking at a custom-made cubby house, similar to what the Queen and Princess Margaret had when they were girls,” an insider revealed.
“He wants to give Lili something she will use and be hers. She’ll remember it forever – it’s going to be the ultimate surprise!”
While Harry and Meghan have money to spoil their children, the Duke has reportedly urged his father “to be less extravagant.”
“They are always in his heart”
“Harry is letting Meghan take charge of most of Lili’s gifts, but he was talking about adding more British books to the nursery that he used to love as a kid, like the Paddington Bear and Frog and Toad series,” a source added.
While Archie and Lilibet were generally considered too young to attend this year’s coronation, King Charles was reportedly disappointed not to be able to see his grandchildren.
A source told The Sun that the monarch was “happy” that his son, Harry, attended his big day. On the other hand, not being able to meet Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet was tough.
“It is sad, he is very disappointed that he won’t see Meghan or his grandchildren but understands the situation,” the source told the newspaper.
Naturally, any parent or grandparent knows how tough it is to be away from your children or grandchildren, even if it’s just for one day. In King Charles’ case, he hasn’t seen Archie or Lilibet in almost a year, and it seems like it’s taking a toll on him.
Royal author Robert Jobson describes King Charles’s anguish over Archie and Lilibet, who are sixth and seventh in the line of succession, in his book OUR KING: Charles III: the Man and the Monarch.
Jobson writes that Archie and Lilbet are “always in Charles’ heart,” though the rift between Harry & Meghan and the royals has made things challenging.
Archie and Lilibet given royal titles
“Unfortunately, due to the poor relationship with his second son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Charles has spent hardly any quality time with his other grandchildren, Archie and his sister, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor,” Robert Jobson writes in his book, as quoted by the Mirror.
“But those close to him say they are always in his heart. It is one of the reasons he finds the estrangement from his second son so difficult to cope with.”
Shortly after Archie was born, Charles went to visit him for the first time. By that stage, Harry and Meghan were already discussing leaving royal life behind in favor of settling in another country.
“A week after Archie was born in May 2019, Charles had gone to see Harry and Meghan at Frogmore Cottage and was thrilled as he cradled the baby boy in his arms,” Jobson explains. “But even then, the Sussexes were planning their escape from the Firm.”
Somewhat surprisingly, Archie and Lilibet were recently given the royal titles of prince and princess. Harry and Meghan described the titles as their children’s “birthright,” stating that they should be free to decide for themselves in the future whether or not they want to keep them.
Of course, critics argue that Harry and Meghan’s reason for talking about the royals so much – via their Netflix, Spotify, and book deals – is simply so they can earn money.
Royal expert Sarah Hewson claims that Archie and Lilibet’s new titles might benefit their parents financially. However, that is only speculation.
“You wouldn’t be wrong if you look at this and think about the branding,” she said.
Children’s royal titles – revenge for Harry and Meghan?
“When they said they wanted to distance themselves from the family, they wanted to have a private life, when Archie was born, I remember vividly being told they wanted him to be Master Archie, now he is Prince, and Lilibet is Princess,” Hewson added.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, palace insider Richard Eden accused Harry and Meghan of using their children’s royal titles as retaliation against King Charles and Camilla. According to Eden, the timing of the announcement is “revenge.”
“It does strike me as revenge by Harry and Meghan. What we’ve seen is two big developments over the past week. Last week it emerged that they’re being evicted from their only British home, which they described as their forever home at Frogmore Cottage,” Eden said earlier this year.
“Then we also learnt that Camilla’s grandchildren were going to have roles at the coronation. Both things I think will have upset Harry and Meghan. They’ll be thinking, ‘What can we do to have our revenge?’ and that’s making sure that their children can have these two titles.”
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