Princess Lilibet’s third birthday was a princess-worthy affair - but why didn’t the royals mark the special day?

Princess Lilibet's birthday was not publically marked by the Royal Family, but she did enjoy a private ‘surprise from the King’

Prince Harry and Lilibet
(Image credit: Netflix/Future)

Members of the Royal Family failed to publicly mark Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter Princess Lilibet’s third birthday - and it's all thanks to a new royal protocol. 

For most children, birthdays are a family affair with parents throwing kids parties and entertaining friends and relatives with kids' party games ideas. But, for three-year-old Princess Lilibet, her birthday celebrations were notably missing her father's side of the family. Not only that, but Harry's royal relatives also didn't publicly send her any birthday wishes like they do every year for her cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis

However, a royal expert has revealed that this was no surprise. Just as the family was prevented from publicly marking Lilibet's brother Prince Archie's fifth birthday earlier this year, there is new royal protocol that prohibits them from doing so. 

As explained by royal correspondent Danielle Stacey, who spoke to HELLO! Magazine, "In recent years and certainly since King Charles III's reign began in September 2022, we have only seen public messages from the royal family's social media accounts for working members of the royal family, such as the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, and the Princess Royal. 

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back as senior royals in 2020, and no longer carry out royal duties. Similarly, the palace doesn't typically share messages on the likes of Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, and Zara Tindall's birthdays nor their children's special days." 

But while there was no public message wishing her a happy birthday, the BBC's former royal correspondent Jennie Bond believes that Lilibet, who sits seventh in the royal line of succession, likely received a private birthday message from her grandfather King Charles. 

She told OK! Magazine, "It would be nice to think the day might include a video call to Lilibet’s grandfather, King Charles and hopefully some sort of gift has been arranged and will be delivered to Montecito for her birthday."

Even without her royal relatives present, the expert revealed that Lilibet's party was sure to be a princess-worthy affair. She said, "Of course Lilibet is already a princess, but I’m sure her mum will still want to dress her up for her big day. After all, that’s half the fun of having a little girl.

"I expect her birthday will be full of sunshine, squabbles with her brother, fun games with her toddler friends and some delicious home cooking from her mum.

"It will no doubt be in all American affair at their Montecito mansion and I would expect to see a sprinkling of celebrities and a laid-back party, which hopefully will include some other toddlers."

In other royal news, Prince George and Princess Charlotte's favourite clothing designer speaks out about the children wearing her creations, while Kate Middleton has big plans to make this year’s summer holiday ‘memorable’ for her kids. It's also been revealed Prince George's future career plans have a sweet connection to Prince Harry

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.