Last month, it was confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby boy, Archie Harrison, would be christened in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in July. And now, further details about the “very small gathering” have been announced.
"Baby Archie Harrison will be christened in the Queen's private chapel at Windsor Castle (not St George's Chapel) next Saturday," The Daily Mail's Rebecca English revealed on Twitter. "There will be just 25 guests attending the intimate family ceremony. Pictures will be released afterwards."
It is understood that the images of the ceremony will be released on the couple's Sussex Royal Instagram account. Since he was born on May 6, the couple have guarded their baby boy's privacy, sharing only a couple of photos of the tot, without showing his whole face.
The christening will take place on July 6, exactly two months after Archie was born, in the same chapel where the couple married in May 2018 and where Prince Harry was christened in 1984.
The couple’s decision to have a private christening has attracted criticism, following the news that £2.4 million (Dh11.2m) of British public money had been spent on renovations of Harry and Meghan’s official residence.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge allowed photographers to take photos of family members and guests arriving at the baptisms of their three children, Prince George (five), Princess Charlotte (four) and Prince Louis (one).
“All royal christenings are private. Sometimes, however, access is granted to cover the arrivals, as well as family photographs being released,” English clarified on Twitter. “We will see the official [pictures], the issue yet to be thrashed out is whether media will be allowed to cover arrivals in some way.”
The 25 guests
It was reported earlier that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip would be unlikely to attend, and that still seems to be the case.
From the royal family, Archie’s grandfather Prince Charles is expected to attended with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It has also been reported that Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, will fly in from Los Angeles for the occasion.
It is well known that Markle is good friends with tennis ace Selena Williams, who will be in London for Wimbledon. Williams is rumoured to be a godmother to baby Archie.
The chosen venue in Windsor Castle will start a family tradition for the Sussexes. As well as being the location of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding in May 2018, it is also where Prince Harry was baptised in 1984 when he was three months old.
That isn't the only tradition that will be maintained at the baptism. It is expected that Archie will wear the traditional Windsor christening gown, which is a replica of a Honiton lace gown Queen Victoria had made for the baptism of her eldest child, Princess Victoria, in 1841.
The original was worn by 62 royal babies at their christenings, including Princes William and Harry. However, in 2004 after the christening of Lady Louise Windsor, it was decided it was becoming too fragile. That year, the Queen had a copy made by dressmaker Angela Kelly.
The new gown has since been worn at the christenings of all three of the Cambridge children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.