Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hosted a 1st birthday party for their daughter, Lilibet Diana. Reports state no senior royals attended the event but not for obvious reasons.
It was anticipated that Her Majesty would see her great-granddaughter, Lilibet Diana, on her first birthday, on June 4, 2022, at Windsor.
In May 2022, The Telegraph reported that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter would spend her very first birthday meeting her great-grandmother, the Queen, on the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on June 03, 2022 in London, England. / Source: Getty Images
Lilibet was born in the US, and up until the Jubilee celebrations, she had not met the rest of the Royal Family members. Her parents bowed out of official duties on June 4, 2022, to celebrate her birthday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stayed at their Windsor home of Frogmore Cottage following a St. Paul's Cathedral thanksgiving service.
The Queen, who resides nearby at Windsor Castle, was expected to meet Lilibet for the first time and be reunited with her great-grandson Archie whom she had last seen when he was a baby.
The Independent reported that the monarch eventually met Lilibet Mountbatten Windsor for the first time. Royal commentator Omid Scobie revealed Prince Harry, and Markle introduced their daughter to the Queen on June 2, 2022. The said meeting occurred just ahead of the young royal's birthday.
While royal fans seemed to anticipate the much-awaited meeting, Scobie previously said they should not expect anything over the top from the significant occasion:
"I think people are expecting some sort of big birthday extravagant event, that we’re going to see photographs from. From what I'm told, we shouldn't expect anything."
"Those moments with Lilibet are very much private between them and the Queen, and of course, we know how much she's been looking forward to it," Scobie continued.
Ahead of Lilibet's birthday, the co-author of the Sussexes' biography, "Finding Freedom," revealed on Twitter that the royal couple would celebrate their daughter's special day "together privately as a family."
INSIDE LILIBET'S FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY
Markle and Prince Harry invited Lilibet's second cousins to mark her first birthday in an informal garden party held at Windsor's Frogmore Cottage. There were picnic-style snacks, a birthday cake, balloons, and party games for the young ones.
Part of the guest list were Zara and Mike Tindall's kids, Lena, Lucas, and Mia, including Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly's daughters, Isla and Savannah. In addition, Archie's godfather, Charlie Van Straubenzee, and his brother Tom, Princess Charlotte's godfather, also attended. Sources revealed to The Sun what vibe the party had:
"It was a lovely do and had everything you'd expect from a child's birthday party. But there was no formal entertainment. The idea was for it to be very relaxed and casual, with people free to pop in and out as they wished."
The Cambridges' brood, Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte were not in attendance. Instead, the two eldest kids were making an appearance on an official visit to Wales during that period.
Nonetheless, a royal insider shared it was an excellent opportunity for other royal children to meet the latest addition to the Royal Family for the first time.
Moreover, the source divulged that one of the birthday gifts included a $93 pink Volkswagen Beetle ride-on toy that had been spotted on Selfridges. Seeing that Lilibet's first birthday is a milestone, there were previous discussions about the presents she would receive on her big day.
Photographer, Misan Harriman tweeted that he had the pleasure of capturing the memorable moments from Lilibet's birthday party, along with snaps of the birthday girl who donned a pale blue dress paired with a white hair bow.
The Duke and Duchess released new photos of their youngest child amid their trip to the UK, and it is apparent that Lilibet is the spitting image of her dad as she features his signature red hair in a snap captured at her party. Harriman also shared a picture of his wife, Camilla Holmstroem, alongside Markle, posing with their daughters.
HOW OTHER ROYALS CELEBRATED LILIBET'S BIRTHDAY
While senior royals were absent from the event, they made an effort to wish Lilibet a happy birthday on social media. The Queen wrote on her official social media account: "Wishing Lilibet a very Happy 1st Birthday!"
Jumping on the bandwagon, the Cambridges tweeted: "Wishing a very happy birthday to Lilibet, turning one today!" The young royal also received a birthday tribute from her grandfather, Prince Charles, and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, who wrote: "Wishing Lilibet a very happy 1st birthday today!"
Following the party, a source revealed to Entertainment Tonight that seeing all senior royals were not present; it was because they were all traveling on the day Lilibet celebrated her first birthday.
Prince William and Kate Middleton, including Duchess Sophie and Prince Edward, all traveled to different parts of the UK to visit those who were celebrating Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee. The insider emphasized that the said events were not planned to snub Lilibet's special day at home:
"It's simply a coincidence they fell on the same day. There was no intended slight."
On June 6, 2022, the Daily Mail reported that the Sussexes, along with their brood, left for the US an hour before the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration ended.
The couple was scarce amid the festivities during the celebration weekend, and so were their son and daughter, who were spotted nowhere in public since they arrived from the US.
Prince Harry's biographer Angela Levin later claimed that the Duke and Duchess must have been upset because the Firm did not welcome them with open arms after returning to the UK following their exit in 2020. Levin told the Daily Mail that it appears the duo was left frustrated because they were not prioritized.
"I think they were furious. I think they believed they would come back and be welcomed with open arms, but the truth is that the world, and the Royal Family, have moved on without them. They thought everyone would drop everything for them, but they didn't," she said.