Toria Sheffield
July 18, 2018 6:58 am
Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth sat out the royal christening of her great-grandson Prince Louis, but she still made it into the official family photos from the big day — well, sort of.

A portrait of the Queen, 92, painted by Michael Noakes hangs behind the gathered members of the royal family in the Morning Room at Clarence House, almost as if she’s regally looking over them. The background image can be seen between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the shot of the royal family and behind Kate Middleton‘s parents in a snap that included both sides of the family.

Whether photographer Matt Holyoak’s sly inclusion of Queen Elizabeth was intentional is unclear, but it’s a nice way that she could still be included in the day’s festivities.

The palace surprised royal watchers by announcing early on the day of Louis’ christening that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip would not attend. The decision that she would not be attending the event was “mutually agreed” between the 92-year-old monarch, Prince William and Kate “some time ago,” a palace source told People.com.

The Queen’s absence is likely due to her busy schedule. Amid other commitments, she marked the 100th birthday of the Royal Air Force at a Westminster Abbey service in London on Tuesday and a flypast by a huge array of aircraft over Buckingham Palace. She also hosted President Donald Trump at Windsor Castle on Friday. Everyone in the family is “comfortable with the arrangement,” the source added.

The Queen isn’t the first member of the royal family to miss a christening for William and Kate’s children. Harry missed the baptism of niece Princess Charlotte back in 2015 while he was on a three-month tour in Africa, which was planned prior to her birth.

“What a bad uncle I am! I should really be there,” Harry joked during his trip. “But today I am here, this is where I want to be.”

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