Sunday 18 August 2019

The story behind the christening gown that Meghan and Harry's baby Archie will wear today

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn. Photo: Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn. Photo: Getty Images
Meghan holds the feet of her baby, Archie, just a few days after she first showed him off in public. Photo: Getty Images
Baby Archie. Photo: REUTERS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire
Screengrab taken from the Instagram feed of Sussex Royal of images from the wedding day of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they celebrate their first first wedding anniversary today - and are a family of three with the arrival of baby Archie. Photo: @sussexroyal/PA Wire

Laura Elston

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby son Archie is expected to be baptised in the royal christening gown.

The replica of the intricate lace and satin gown made for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter has been used for royal infants for the last 11 years.

Archie's cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all wore the frilly cream outfit for their christenings, as did Zara and Mike Tindall's daughters Mia and Lena.

It was created by the Queen's dresser Angela Kelly and the team of dressmakers at Buckingham Palace, and features the same lengthy skirt and elaborate collars and bow as its predecessor.

The original Honiton lace and white satin robe, which was made in 1841, was last used in 2004, after which the Queen commissioned the handmade copy so the historic outfit, which had become too fragile to use, could be carefully preserved.

The 19th century gown was fashioned for the christening of Victoria, the Princess Royal and used for generation after generation of royal babies.

The Queen's father King George VI, the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex all wore the elaborate dress, with Lady Louise Windsor the last royal baby to wear it in 2004.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex's son Viscount Severn became the first to wear the new robe at his christening in 2008.

Baptisms are a must for Windsor babies.

The Queen is Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Royal infants are often welcomed into the Christian faith within weeks of being born.

George was christened when he was three months old, while Charlotte was only nine weeks, and Louis was 11 weeks, while Archie will be exactly two months old on July 6.

Harry was baptised at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on December 21 1984 when he was three months and six days old.

George was the first future monarch in modern times not to be baptised at Buckingham Palace, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge choosing the intimate Chapel Royal at St James's Palace instead in 2013.

He was on his best behaviour, blowing bubbles beforehand and being quiet and peaceful afterwards.

Princess Charlotte was christened at the Church of St Mary Magdalene at Sandringham in Norfolk in 2015.

She was pushed to her christening past well-wishers in a vintage 1950s silver-wheeled Millson pram - once used for the Queen's youngest children Prince Andrew and Prince Edward - and began to cry ahead of the service before being settled by the duchess.

Prince Louis's baptism also took place at the Chapel Royal in 2018.

He was well behaved, staying sound asleep as he was carried into the chapel by Kate.

Charlotte was heard telling off photographers and declaring they were not allowed inside following the service.

Online Editors

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