The royal family is gearing up for Prince Louis’s christening on Monday, but there will be some notable absentees in Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Fans thought the baptism would mark the first time the entire family—Meghan Markle and Prince Louis included—would congregate together this year, but alas, that won’t be the case.
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The queen is not attending the christening because it was “mutually agreed” upon by her and Prince William and Kate Middleton a while back, according to palace representatives and the Press Association. Still, this doesn’t explain why she and her husband are skipping the festivities. Buckingham Palace said the choice to sit this one out “was not made on health grounds.”
Notably, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip both attended Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s respective christenings.
While it isn’t safe to say for sure, the absence signals that the elder royals are scaling back their duties as they grow older. As CNN pointed out, 97-year-old Prince Philip retired from public life in September and recently underwent hip surgery, while the 92-year-old queen has also started to take things off her plate.
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Queen Elizabeth additionally skipped a royal engagement last month because she wasn’t feeling well.
Though they aren’t missing the festivities because of health reasons, they might be sitting this one out to conserve energy for a busy week ahead. Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to celebrate the Royal Air Force Thursday, and she’s got her first official visit with Donald Trump on Friday.
That’s enough to wind anyone.