Baby Archie’s christening in Windsor next weekend will be ‘private’ as Meghan and Harry strive to shield their new son from the public’s gaze
- Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’s christening is in Windsor next weekend
- Duke and Duchess of Sussex staying true to their desire to raise Archie as a ‘private citizen’, keeping the royal baptism a closed affair
- While the couple have shared photos of eight-week-old Archie on their Instagram account, the youngest royal has only been seen in public once
- At six weeks, a Father’s Day snap showed him clutching his father Harry’s finger
- His father Harry and uncle William were also baptised at the Windsor chapel
- The Queen will not attend but Charles and Camilla will lead the Royal party
- No clues yet on identities of the godparents but old friends of the couple and even celebrity pals like Amal Clooney or Elton John could be in the running
Baby Archie will be christened at the same Windsor Chapel where both his father and uncle were baptised – and his parents were married in 2018 – next weekend.
However, the youngest royal’s parents are firmly staying true to their desire to raise Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor as a ‘private citizen’ by closing off the royal event to the public.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who faced criticism last week for lavish renovations of their home, Frogmore Cottage, at a cost of £2.4million to the taxpayer, look set to make the son’s christening an entirely private affair.
Kate and William allowed media access to all three of their children’s baptisms before conducting the ceremonies in private. The Queen will not attend Archie’s christening with Charles and Camilla set to lead the Royal party.
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Future player: Meghan and Harry are likely to demand a private christening for their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor when he is baptised at St George’s Chapel, Windsor next weekend
Prince Harry and Meghan are determined to stay true to their desire to raise their firstborn son, now eight weeks’ old as a private citizen. Pictured: Archie at six-weeks-old, in a touching tribute posted on Father’s Day
Remind you of anyone? The new image of Archie shows he shares similarities with his father Prince Harry (left) and mother Meghan Markle (right) when they were infants
While photos of Archie, including an adorable photograph paying touching tribute for Father’s Day, have been posted on the couple’s official Instagram page SussexRoyal, the two-month-old has been seen in public just once, in the days immediately after his birth.
Archie, seventh in line to the throne, will wear a replica of the vintage lace gown in which his father was christened, and young Archie will be welcomed into his faith in St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where Harry was baptised in 1984.
Royal christenings are usually private affairs, with invitations extending only to close family and friends, and chosen godparents.
The Sussexes are raising seventh in line to the throne Archie in the sanctuary of Frogmore Cottage – their new bolthole in Windsor Home Park in Berkshire, close to the Queen’s residence Windsor Castle.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, two days after his birth. The infant will be two months old when he is christened next month
The Grade II listed 10-bedroom property is set close to the winding lakes, wooded mounds, glades, walks and bridges of the gardens at Frogmore.
Last week, it was revealed that the couple’s renovation of the residence in Windsor has cost £2.4 million of taxpayer funds.
The couple are also said to have added luxury features – funded privately – that take inspiration from the Soho Farmhouse chain, a favourite haunt of the royal couple.
According to sources who have spoken to The Mail on Sunday, a gleaming designer copper bath – which takes 120 man hours to be hand-beaten out, is among the trendy interior choices that have transformed Frogmore Cottage.
It is not yet known who will be the child’s godfather and godmother. Longstanding friends of the royal couple – the Prince’s former equerry Mark Dyer and the Duchesses’ close friend Jessica Mulroney – are likely candidates.
The only photo of baby Archie seen since May 8 was this Instagram snap of his toes shared on American Mothers’ Day but like his next turn in front of the world’s press is fast approaching
The royal baby will have waters from the River Jordan poured over his forehead during teh ceremony
And after a traditional christening … a birthday in a castle
The Duchess of Sussex will enjoy a rare royal treat later this summer when she and her infant son enjoy a holiday to Her Majesty’s favourite retreat: Balmoral.
Meghan will mark her 38th birthday on August 4 with the trip, on which she will be joined by her husband and son.
It is understood the trio will be given their own wing of the sprawling property and join the Queen for tea.
Invites to Balmoral are key indicators of social status. Prince William and Kate have previously stayed but this is Meghan’s first invite.
Despite Harry and Meghan’s obvious willingness to deviate from royal orthodoxy in their social media style, the christening looks set to be a traditional affair.
The Queen’s eighth great-grandchild, born on May 6, will be two months old when water sourced from the River Jordan is poured from the lily font in the chapel over his forehead.
The ceremonies are likely to be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the Reverend David Conner, the Sunday Times reported, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
Meghan is believed to have struck up a close relationship with the primate since he baptised and confirmed her into the Anglican faith two months before her wedding.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are expected to lead the royal party at what will be a relatively intimate event.
Archie’s uncle and aunt, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are expected to attend but Her Majesty the Queen will be absent, on other duties.
She attended the christenings of Prince George and Princess Charlotte but missed the baptism of Prince Louis last year.
The day’s young star will wear a replica of the Honiton lace gown Queen Victoria commissioned for the baptism of her first child.
The gown, first worn in 1841, has been worn by 62 royal babies including Harry and his older brother William, but the Queen deemed it too fragile for continued use so a replica has been created – and most recently modelled by Prince Louis at his christening.
Prince William holding his son Prince George at George’s christening in St James’ Palace in 2013. George is wearing the gown Archie will be wearing – a replica of a 1841 Victorian original
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pictured on their wedding day, in St George’s Chapel in 2018
The official portrait of Prince Harry and his late mother, Diana Princess of Wales, on the day of his christening which also took place at St George’s Chapel
The chance that some member of Hollywood royalty – perhaps Amal Clooney, who attended the baby shower – is cast as godmother or father is considered much less likely.
The gothic chapel is where the Prince and Princess of Wales had three-month-old Prince Harry christened four days before Christmas in 1984.
Baby Harry was said to have dozed and behaved impeccably during the private ceremony, but became tearful during the reception until he was comforted by his great-grandmother the Queen Mother.
Boisterous toddler Prince William, who was only two-and-a-half, charged around, running between the guests as they chatted in the castle afterwards, before taking centre stage in the official photos.
The chapel is just half a mile away from the Sussex’s home in Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of the Windsor Estate, and will also serve as a poignant reminder of their wedding day.
The duke and American former actress Meghan staged a glittering royal wedding in St George’s on May 19 last year.
Femail has contacted the royal household for comment.
Who’s in line to be Archie’s royal godparent?
ON MEGHAN’S SIDE
THE BFF: Jessica Mulroney
Widely thought of as Meghan’s BFF – and unofficial stylist – Jessica Mulroney is a clear front-runner, although her US location means she’d be a godparent from afar.
The American stylist, a mother-of-three married to Canadian TV host Ben Mulroney, is so close to the Duchess that her four-year-old daughter, Ivy, was a flower girl at the royal wedding.
Her seven-year-old brothers John and Brian had the honour of being page boys.
The 39-year-old, who divides her time between Toronto and New York, where she works for Good Morning America as a fashion contributor, even has photos of the royal wedding in her home, with the stylish black-and-white snaps revealed in a video she posted last year.
Among those closest to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who could be named godparents of their first child, is Meghan’s best friend and unofficial stylist Jessica Mulroney (pictured)
THE STYLIST FRIEND: Misha Nonoo
Despite being predominately based in New York, fashion designer Misha has maintained a close friendship with the Duchess.
She was the creative mind behind the t-shirt the Duchess of Sussex wore for her first public outing with the Prince at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September 2017, and was at one point thought to be the matchmaker behind their royal romance.
The pair also go way back; prior to joining the royal family Meghan enjoyed regular holidays with Misha and her best male friend Markus Anderson.
Misha Nonoo (pictured on holiday with Benita Litt and Meghan) has maintained her close friendship with Meghan since she married Prince Harry, despite being predominately based in New York
THE MOTHER OF MEGHAN’S GODCHILDREN: Benita Litt
If Meghan decides a reciprocal godparenting arrangement might be best, then she may well look to the mother of her own godchildren.
Benita Litt, mother to Remi and Rylan Litt, was spotted close to Meghan’s mother Doria at the royal wedding with the pair clearly delighted to be representing the Duchess’s side of the family.
A former entertainment lawyer, high-flying Benita has previously been on holiday with the royal – and if you needed any further proof of their solid friendship, the pair also spent Christmas 2016 together.
Benita Litt (pictured left at the Royal wedding with Meghan’s mother Doria) is the mother of Meghan’s godchildren Remi and Rylan Litt
THE UNIVERSITY PAL: Lindsay Roth
Keeper of some of the Duchess’ oldest secrets, Lindsay Roth is a fellow alumni from Northwestern University in Illinois, where the pair bonded in an English literature class studying Toni Morrison’s works.
Now a successful TV producer and author, Lindsay has already bestowed a role on Meghan, choosing her to serve as her maid of honour at her wedding in 2016.
Lindsay Roth (pictured with Meghan) is one of her oldest friends and a fellow alumni from Meghan’s time spent studying literature at Northwestern
THE FAMOUS FRIEND: Serena Williams
Tennis icon Serena Williams has remained close friends with Meghan since the pair first met in 2010 at the Super Bowl in Miami, Florida.
Meghan previously wrote about their friendship on her lifestyle blog, The Tig, saying the pair had found an instant affection.
‘We hit it off immediately,’ she said. ‘Taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girly stuff.’
The sportswoman, 37, was one of the pals involved in organising her baby shower in New York – and admitted that she’d pulled out all the stops to make it perfect for her pal.
She told Business of Fashion: ‘Planning something like that takes a lot of effort. I’m a perfectionist, so I’m like, ‘Let’s make it perfect’.’
Serena was a guest at St George’s Chapel Windsor when Meghan married Prince Harry last May, and was one of the close friends invited to their more ‘intimate’ evening do for 200 friends.
Serena (pictured with Meghan backstage at a fashion debut) was one of the Duchess’s close friends involved in the process of organising her New York baby shower
Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, 41, and her husband George, 57, were in attendance at Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
The mother of twins, who developed a friendship with the duchess during her transition to London, are connected through celebrity hair stylist Miguel Perez.
According to Elle, Meghan has been relying on Amal’s advice for coping with being in the public eye.
Amal and her husband are part of the well-heeled set of Berkshire-based celebrities who live close to Harry and Meghan’s new home at Frogmore Cottage.
Their sprawling home is just a 30-minute drive from Windsor and the couples are said to socialise regularly.
Harry and Meghan also spent a few days with the Clooneys at their 18th century Villa Oleandra in Lake Como in August 2018, relaxing by the pool and playing basketball.
Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, 41, seen with George in March, attended Harry and Meghan’s wedding. Amal was also in attendance of the Duchess’s New York baby shower
THE MUTUAL FRIEND: Violet von Westenholz
Violet von Westenholz, 33, is the daughter of former Olympic skier Baron Piers von Westenholz, who is a close personal friend of Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales.
She was also a childhood friend of Harry’s and met with Meghan while working as a press relations director for Ralph Lauren.
She was seen chatting with Meghan at Wimbeldon just days before her blind date with Prince Harry in July 2016, prompting speculation that she had set the couple up.
However, it’s since been revealed that the royal matchmaker was designer Misha Nonoo.
Chums: Violet met Meghan through her PR job at Ralph Lauren (pictured at The Polo Ralph Lauren VIP Suite at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships)
THE LA CONFIDANTE: Heather Dorak
Meghan’s close friend Heather Dorak was not at her baby shower – presumably because she had given birth to her own child only days earlier.
The duchess developed a close friendship with Heather during the time she spent attending her Pilates classes when she was an actress in LA.
Meghan has often gushed about being inspired by Heather who was a guest at her wedding to Harry.
Meghan’s close friend Heather Dorak (pictured) developed a close friendship with the duchess during the time she spent attending her Pilates classes as an actress in LA
On Harry’s side
THE SECOND FATHER: Mark Dyer
Mark Dyer has been noted as a ‘second father’ to Prince Harry throughout his upbringing and a mentor alongside the royal’s former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
Cheltenham College educated Dyer, known as Marko to friends, became a steadying big brother figure to the princes in the mid-Nineties when he worked as an equerry to the Prince of Wales for 18 months.
Prince Charles appointed Dyer to keep an eye on his sons, and he was brought in as a male counterpart to former royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
During the first half term after Diana’s death, when the boys would have been with their mother, Prince Charles was committed to a five day visit to Africa.
He took Harry along and while the Prince carried out engagements, Harry went off on safari in Botswana, organised by Mark.
From then on he was a key guiding figure as Harry and William tried to come to terms with the loss of their mother.
After his spell as an employee to the Prince ended he remained a mentor to Harry.
In 2009 Mark founded the management company MDM Bars and Pubs and runs two pubs The Sand’s End and The Brown Cow, in south-west London which both became haunts of Prince Harry.
Mark’s six-year-old son Jasper, who is Prince Harry’s godson, was chosen as a page boy for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding.
Mark Dyer (pictured with Harry) has been described as a ‘second father’ to Prince Harry following his mother Princess Diana’s death
THE FAMILY MEMBER: Mike and Zara Tindall
Harry has shared a close bond with his cousin Zara Tindall since childhood.
Back when Zara had a tongue piercing and Harry was known for his wild nights out, the pair were known as the ‘fun’ royal rebels.
However, their friendship has endured now they are both settled down and in their 30s.
Indeed, it’s Harry who is said to be responsible for Zara’s happy marriage to Mike Tindall after introducing the pair at Manly Wharf Hotel in Sydney in 2003, during the Rugby World Cup.
Zara and Mike chose Prince Harry to be godfather to their second daughter, Lena, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended her christening in March at St Nicholas Church in Cherington, Gloucestershire.
Harry is godfather to Lena Tindall, the younger daughter of his cousin Zara and Mike Tindall (pictured at the Copper Box)
THE FATHER OF HARRY’S GODCHILD: Jake Warren
Jake Warren and his wife Zoe attended the couple’s wedding, and their daughter Zalie – who is one of Prince Harry’s godchildren – was chosen to be a flower girl.
The godson of Princess Diana, Jake grew up alongside Prince Harry and has often been spotted with him at events including Ascot.
The Warren family are closely connected to the royals through horse-racing. Jake’s father John Warren is the Queen’s racing manager.
The father-and-son team run Highclere Stud in Newbury together.
Jake Warren and his wife Zoe had their daughter Zali, who is one of Prince Harry’s godchildren, attended their wedding (Harry and Jake pictured together at Royal Ascot in 2014)
THE CLOSE MATE: Nicholas Van Cutsem
Major Nicholas van Cutsem, a major with the Household Cavalry’s Life Guards, has been a friend of Harry and William’s since childhood.
He had an important role in the 2011 wedding when he escorted William and Kate along the procession route in London in a 1902 State Landau after their wedding at Westminster Abbey.
The Duke of Sussex chose three-year-old Florence, the daughter of Nicholas and his wife Alice Van Cutsem, as a flower girl for his wedding to Meghan.
Prince Harry, who has known Nicholas and Alice for several years, is Florence’s godfather.
The Duke of Sussex chose three-year-old Florence, the daughter of Nicholas and Alice Van Cutsem (pictured in 2009), as a flower girl for his wedding to Meghan
THE BELOVED FORMER NANNY: Tiggy Pettifer
Tiggy Pettifer – better known as Tiggy Legge-Bourke – was famously Harry and William’s long-term nanny in their formative years.
A constant by the princes’ side while they were growing up, Tiggy has remained close to both the royals over the years, and met Meghan before they married.
The Duke of Sussex is godfather to Tiggy’s son Tom Pettifer, who was pictured with Tiggy at the royal wedding.
The Duke of Sussex is godfather to his former nanny’s son Tom Pettifer (pictured with Tiggy). His mother Tiggy Pettifer who was a personal assistant to Prince Harry throughout his childhood
THE PREP SCHOOL FRIEND: Charlie Van Straubenzee
Charlie Van Straubenzee became a close friend to Prince Harry and Prince William during their time at Ludgrove Prep School in Berkshire, and was chosen to be an usher at Harry’s wedding.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended Charlie’s wedding in Surrey just months after their own ceremony.
The Windsors and van Straubenzees have known each other since they were at Prep school together and are close friends.
Charlie’s older brother Thomas is Princess Charlotte’s godfather.
Harry has visited the family home in Cornwall almost every summer since he was a child.
Charlie Van Straubenzee (pictured with his wife Daisy) became a close friend of Prince Harry and Prince William during their time at Ludgrove Prep School in Berkshire
THE SPEECH WRITER: Tom Inskip
Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip and sister Victoria — ‘Tor’ to her friends — have known Princes William and Harry since childhood. The Inskips were regulars at Club H, the ‘nightclub’ William and Harry set up in the basement of Highgrove.
Tom attended Eton with Harry and co-owns a race horse with him called Usain Colt.
He later became known for being by Harry’s side whenever he got into scrapes, such as his infamous trip to Las Vegas in 2012, when the prince was photographed naked during a game of ‘strip billiards’.
But he’s been leading a more settled life since marrying flame-haired literary agent the Hon Lara Hughes-Young in Jamaica in 2017.
Harry and Meghan flew to Jamaica to attend Tom’s wedding, where the Prince was an usher.
Tom was a guest at the royal wedding in May 2018, and reportedly helped Prince William write a speech.
Tom Inskip (pictured with his wife Lara attending the Royal wedding) was involved in writing Prince William’s speech for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding
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