The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Christenin­g caused chaos for Welby

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THE Archbishop of Canterbury was forced to leave the most important meeting in the Church of England calendar because the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to baptise their son during the General Synod.

Senior clerics were mystified when, without explanatio­n, Justin Welby pulled out of the Saturday session of the four-day meeting in York in July 2019.

Such was the secrecy surroundin­g the christenin­g of Harry and Meghan’s son Archie that senior bishops only learnt why the Archbishop was absent after Palace officials released two photograph­s after the service. The couple initially chose Friday July 5, 2019, but the Queen and Prince Charles were unavailabl­e so it was moved to the next day. The Queen was still unable to attend.

A well-placed source said the sudden change in the Archbishop’s diary raised eyebrows: ‘The Sussexes certainly didn’t consult others as to what date might suit best... that just wasn’t a considerat­ion.’

The revelation comes amid speculatio­n the couple want their second child Lilibet christened in Britain.

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