Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who is two months old today, was surrounded by 25 of the Duke and Duchess’s closest family and friends as he was christened today at the private chapel in Windsor Castle. The christening, officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, was a private affair, as all royal christenings have been. But the Sussexes have shared official photographs taken by trusted photographer Chris Allerton on their official Instagram page.
Two photos have been released, one in colour, one in black and white. The first featured the more immediate family with Harry and Meghan in front with little Archie on Meghan’s lap. (Is it just us or is there a ginger tinge to his hair?) On either side of them sat The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall. Behind them in a row stood Prince Charles, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, who are Princess Diana’s older sisters and The Duke of Cambridge.
The second photo shows Harry, Meghan and Archie, who appears to be having a little nap in his parents’ embrace.
The characteristically-detailed caption read “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are so happy to share the joy of this day with members of the public who have been incredibly supportive since the birth of their son. They thank you for your kindness in welcoming their first born and celebrating this special moment.
While his mother wore white Dior, little Archie wore a replica of the Honiton lace cream christening gown originally made in 1841 for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter. It had been used to christen royal babies until 2004 when the gown was deemed too fragile and is now being preserved. The new gown was designed by the Queen’s dressmaker Angela Kelly.
The new chapel where occasion took place (it was relocated near St George’s Hall, after a huge fire at Windsor Castle in 1992 destroyed the original one) has a beautiful vaulted blue ceiling and six stained windows designed, amazingly, by Prince Phillip.
All royal christenings are private affairs, so there never would have been an opportunity to see Archie, his parents and the guests in the chapel (which is apparently tiny and can only fit about 30 people!). But the decision not to allow press to photograph Harry, Meghan and their guests as they arrive and depart, and also to not reveal the godparents in keeping with their wishes, has caused quite a bit of controversy, with some people feeling that even with the promise of photos, the public is being left out.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh weren’t present as they had prior engagement. They also missed Prince Louis christening last year for the same reason. Meghan’s university friends Lindsay Roth and Genevieve Hillis who were seen with the Duchess at Wimbledon on the fourth of July were also in attendance. Meghan’s best friend Jessica Mulroney was also likely present after making an Instagram post that hinted she would be travelling abroad. Harry’s beloved childhood nanny Tiggy Legge Bourke was seen arriving. It was truly a family affair.
We may not know who the godparents are but we do know there’s at least three, as that’s the minimum the Anglican church recommends: two who are the same sex as the baby, and at least one who is not.
Despite the drama, there has also been plenty of excitement both here and abroad. Well-wishers gathered outside Windsor Castle with signs and balloons. The Kingdom Choir, who famously sang at Harry and Meghan’s wedding last year, revealed an incredibly sweet lullaby they wrote for Archie.
Speaking of gifts, we might have to wait to find out what baby Archie received.
When Prince Louis was christened last year, Harry gave him the incredibly sweet (and expensive!) gift of a first edition of AA Milne’s children’s classic Winnie the Pooh.