As the royal family gathers to celebrate the christening of Prince Louis, two very important royals are taking the day off. The 11-week-old royal's great-grandmother and great-grandfather, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, unfortunately won't be at the christening of their newest great-grandson. Here's everything known about why the queen and Prince Philip are missing Prince Louis' christening.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told the BBC that the queen decided not to attend the christening "some time ago." Additionally, her abstention is not due to her health, the spokesperson said.
Rebecca English, the Royal Correspondent for the Daily Mail, tweeted further information on the matter. "The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will not be attending today's christening. There's no health issue for the Queen," English alleged on Twitter. "She was working flat out in Scotland last week and has got a busy few days in London with the RAF Centenary event tomorrow and #Trump on Friday."
She also reported that the royal couple have been out of town. "The Queen & Philip have just spent the weekend together in Norfolk. He is remaining there while she travels back to London today," English tweeted. "Her decision not to attend was mutually agreed with William & Kate, while Philip clearly doesn't want to attend public events unless he really has to."
In August 2017, Prince Philip formally retired from public duties, CNN reported. At the time, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement shared with CNN that an August 2017 parade would "bring His Royal Highness's individual program to a conclusion, although he may choose to attend certain events, alongside the Queen, from time to time."
And in February 2018, the queen seemingly decided to take a step back as well. When the royal family calendar for the rest of the year was released, royal experts noted that the monarch had significantly cut back her duties, the International Business Times reported. Considering Prince Philip is 97 years old and the queen is 92, it's totally fair that he decided to retire and she decided to scale things back a bit.
However, it's a little surprising that they chose to miss their great-grandson's christening, given that the affair is so private. The only guests attending the christening (other than Prince Louis' parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine of course) are the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall; the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan; Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton; Kate's sister, Pippa Middleton, and her husband James Matthews; Kate's brother, James Middleton; and Prince Louis' godparents and their spouses, according to the official royal website. To me, Prince Philip and the queen stepping back from public duties but not going to this ultra-private christening is a little confusing, but hey, when you're the literal rulers of England, you can get away with whatever you want!
Prince Louis' christening is scheduled for Monday, July 9 at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London, the official royal website noted. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will be christening the little royal, and Matt Holyoak will be the official photographer for the intimate event. The royal website says Holyoak will capture official photographs at Clarence House after the service, which can only mean one thing: more adorable pictures of Prince Louis must be on the way.
Prince William and Kate are also hosting a private tea at Clarence House after the ceremony, where they will serve guests a tier of cake taken from their literal wedding cake, the royal website reported. Hmm... maybe the real reason the queen and Prince Philip skipped today's festivities are because they didn't want to be subjected to eating 7-year-old fruit cake.