Meghan Markle and Prince Harry face a tough choice about their second child Lilibet's upcoming christening, a royal expert says.
Daniela Elser believes the ceremony has "both potential to either improve or to further damage Harry’s relationship with his family".
Unlike their two-year-old son Archie, no photos of five-week-old Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor have been released to the public – despite the eighth in line to the throne being named after her great-grandmother Queen's childhood nickname.
Writing in news.com.au, Ms Elser said: "While they might desperately want to be able to offer their daughter a level of privacy that Harry was never allowed to enjoy growing up in the royal fishbowl, the hard truth is that they do still occupy a strange nebulous place between public figures and private citizens.
"Which is why some sort of shot of Lili – a toe! A finger! One tiny hand holding an even tinier hand! – does not seem out of the question."
She noted the furore over Meghan and Harry refusing to name Archie's godparents – who was christened while they were still working royals before quitting for the US and living a lucrative life in Montecito, California.
Ms Elser wrote: "In hindsight, the handling of Archie’s christening was a turning point for the couple and you can draw a straight line from that furore to Megxit.
"All of which makes Lili’s christening even more charged and freighted, carrying with it both potential to either improve or to further damage Harry’s relationship with his family.
"If the Sussexes were to decide they wanted the christening to happen back in the UK, perhaps even in September when it has been rumoured that both Harry and Meghan will return to London, then it would be construed as an olive branch after years of intra-family squabbling and rancour.
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"However, if the Sussexes’ decided to hold the ceremony in California, thus precluding the Queen who no longer travels internationally from attending, it would be seen as nothing less than a clear rejection of the royal family.
"There is also a third option here: They decide to skip a baptism entirely. But again, this too would be read as deeply disrespectful to Her Majesty given she is, after all, the head of the Church of England."
She said the Sussexes face a similar problem with choosing Lili's godparents.
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"If they were to choose a cadre of A-list names, news of which would be bound to seep out in the press, then it would look like they are wholly throwing their lot in with their new Hollywood besties, family and lifelong friends back in the UK be damned," she wrote.
"On the other hand, opting to appoint a few carefully chosen cousins or old Eton mates could go a very long way to healing various breaches."
A representative for the Sussexes has been approached for comment.
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