Some reports characterized the omission as a deliberate snub, but a palace source said it had “never been protocol” to share formal birthday wishes for non-working members of the royal family or their children on “official channels.” It must be noted, however, that the birthdays of Lilibet and Archie were celebrated last year by royal social media accounts.
The source said that birthday wishes to the second child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have been shared privately.
The royal pushback came after the young Princess’ birthday assumed unusual constitutional significance after Prince Harry missed the first day of his scheduled court appearance in London because he was delayed by the celebrations. The irritated judge said he was “surprised” Harry had flouted his order to show up in London’s High Court Monday after his barrister cited Lilibet’s birthday party as a cause of his no-show.
Despite the palace’s denials that the lack of a birthday tweet or Insta post has any personal dimension, the omission is likely to further fuel speculation as to the extent of the fracturing of the relationship between the royal family and the Sussexes in the wake of Harry’s memoir, Spare.
Protocol can change, of course, but the fact is that last year, when the queen was still alive, Lilibet and her brother Archie both received birthday wishes from official royal social media accounts.
The king’s various accounts have continued marking the birthdays of William and Kate’s children, and last year, the official Twitter accounts for the Prince and Princess of Wales also wished Lilibet a happy first birthday.
Her brother Archie’s birthday went unremarked by the palace this year, however given it occurred on the same day as the coronation, the omission drew less attention.
The king has not met his son, Prince Harry, in private in the months since he published his memoir Spare. The book painted a damning picture of Charles as a weak and vacillating man, obsessed with burnishing his own and his wife Camilla’s images even at the expense of his son’s mental well-being.
Harry will not meet Charles while he is in the U.K. giving evidence in a case against Mirror Group Newspapers, whom he alleges used information gathered illegally to publish a string of stories against him, as the king is in Romania.
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