This is an official christening photo released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Saturday. Picture: Chris Allerton/©SussexRoyal via AP
This is an official christening photo released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Saturday. Picture: Chris Allerton/©SussexRoyal via AP

Royal baby Archie christened at 'too private' Windsor ceremony

By JILL LAWLESS Time of article published Jul 7, 2019

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London - The youngest member of Britain's royal family, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was christened at Windsor Castle on Saturday in a private ceremony - too private for some royal fans.

The 2-month-old son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was baptized in the castle's private chapel by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Church of England.

Palace officials said that, in keeping with royal tradition, Archie wore a lace and satin christening gown — a replica of one made for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter in 1841 — that was also used for his cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

He was sprinkled with water from the River Jordan at an ornate silver baptismal font that has been used in royal christenings for more than 150 years.

Archie, born May 6, is the first child of Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle, and seventh in line to the British throne.

His parents released two photos taken by fashion photographer Chris Allerton, including a black-and-white image showing the couple cradling a tranquil Archie between them, with the castle's Rose Garden in the background.

It was accompanied by a colour portrait taken in the castle's Green Drawing Room of the young family surrounded by relatives, including Harry's brother Prince William and his wife Kate; Harry's father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla; Meghan's mother Doria Ragland; and Jane Fellowes and Sarah McCorquodale, the sisters of Harry's late mother Princess Diana.

This is the official christening photo released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Saturday, July 6, 2019, showing Britain's Prince Harry, front row, second left and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex with their son, Archie. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall sits at left. Back row from left, Prince Charles, Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England. Picture: Chris Allerton/©SussexRoyal via AP)

Archie's great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, did not attend the christening because of a prior engagement.

Meghan and Harry have faced criticism for declining to reveal the names of Archie's godparents, and not giving the public a glimpse of the event — though that didn't stop well-wishers coming to Windsor with Union Jack flags, banners and even a cake to mark the occasion.

Royal superfan John Loughrey holds a sign in celebration of the royal christening of Archie. Picture: Rick Findler/PA via AP

Harry, whose mother Diana was pursued by paparazzi until her death in a Paris car crash in 1997, has long had a tense relationship with the media. The tension intensified after he began his relationship with Meghan, an American former actress who starred in TV legal drama "Suits."

In May, Harry accepted damages and an apology from a news agency that used a helicopter to take photos of a secluded rural retreat that he and Meghan had rented.

Earlier this year the couple moved from central London to a more secluded home near Windsor Castle, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of London.

The royal couple's decision not to allow media access to the christening sparked controversy in part because of the recent revelation that their Frogmore Cottage home was renovated with 2.4 million pounds ($3.06 million) of taxpayers' money.

Royal fan Anne Daley, who brought a home-baked cake to Windsor, said she was "very hurt" by the level of privacy.

A cake from a royal well-wisher in celebration of the royal christening of Archie, the son of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, outside Windsor Castle. Picture: Rick Findler/PA via AP

"That baby is Princess Diana's grandson. We should be able to see the christening," she said.


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