Wednesday 21 August 2019

Meghan and Harry confirm baby Archie will be christened in private and his godparents' identity will remain a secret

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex look on during the pre-game ceremonies before the MLB London Series game between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at London Stadium on June 29, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex look on during the pre-game ceremonies before the MLB London Series game between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at London Stadium on June 29, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees baseball game at London Stadium on June 29, 2019 in London, England. The game is in support of the Invictus Games Foundation. (Photo by Peter Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
=Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees baseball game at London Stadium on June 29, 2019 in London, England. The game is in support of the Invictus Games Foundation. (Photo by Peter Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession on the Long Walk as they head back towards Windsor Castle in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony. (Photo by Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees baseball game at London Stadium on June 29, 2019 in London, England. The game is in support of the Invictus Games Foundation. (Photo by Peter Nicholls - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex receive presents for their son Archie as they meet players of the New York Yankees as they attend the Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees baseball game at the London Stadium in support of the Invictus Games Foundation
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have had to introduce their baby Archie to their labrador and a beagle. Photo: PA
Baby Archie. Photo: REUTERS
Kate carries Britain's Prince Louis as they arrive for his christening service at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Prince Louis' christening at St James's Palace on July 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex depart after attending the christening of Prince Louis at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace on July 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Tony Jones

The Archbishop of Canterbury will christen the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby son Archie during a private ceremony at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Justin Welby will perform the baptism in front of family and close friends of Harry and Meghan in the private chapel at the Queen's Berkshire home.

The couple have once again turned to fashion photographer Chris Allerton to capture the moment on Saturday.

He took their wedding photographs and other images of the couple with their baby.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex travel in the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession after their wedding on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex travel in the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession after their wedding on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England

Some of Mr Allerton's pictures will be released following the ceremony.

It is understood to protect the privacy of the godparents, who are thought to be private individuals and not public figures, their names will not be released.

But the duke and duchess' decision to keep their baby's christening a private event, without the press or public able to see any elements of the day, has been criticised by some commentators.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened in a small private ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday 6th July.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look forward to sharing some images taken on the day by photographer Chris Allerton.

"The godparents, in keeping with their wishes, will remain private."

Baby Archie. Photo: REUTERS
Baby Archie. Photo: REUTERS

Royal biographer Penny Junor has labelled the couple's decision to exclude the press and public a mistake, saying well-wishers would want to share in their big day.

Ms Junor said: "We're not asking for Archie to become public property but to be able to share in the pleasure of his christening, I think it is only fair to give the public that pleasure."

The decision to hold a private ceremony comes after it emerged £2.4 million of taxpayers' money has been spent renovating the couple's residence Frogmore Cottage.

The property, close to Windsor Castle, underwent major work to turn five properties back into a single residence for the couple and their baby - with all fixtures and fittings paid for privately by the duke and duchess.

It is understood the Queen will not be attending the christening, as she has prior engagement, but the other expected guests include the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan's mother Doria Ragland.

Among those rumoured to be chosen as godparents are Meghan's best friend the Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney and close confidant Benita Litt, while Harry's old schoolmates, brothers Thomas and Charlie van Straubenzee, could be picked along with Jake Warren, son of the Queen's thoroughbred bloodstock adviser John Warren.

But some of the duchess' famous friends may also be given the honour, from tennis star Serena Williams - who is competing at Wimbledon and due to team up with Sir Andy Murray in the mixed doubles, to lawyer Amal Clooney wife of Hollywood star George Clooney.

Harry Aitkenhead, from bookmakers Coral, said: "We're just days away from knowing who will be Archie's godparents and Jessica Mulroney appears to be a banker.

"She's heavily odds on to be given the honour, and with royal children often having a few godparents we have also made Harry's close friend Charles Straubenzee too."

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Prince Louis' christening at St James's Palace on July 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Prince Louis' christening at St James's Palace on July 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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