The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have said they ‘feel fortunate’ to have enjoyed their son’s christening with his godparents and have shared two pictures from the big day – but still haven’t revealed who the chosen family and friends are.
Proud parents Harry and Meghan finally gave a glimpse into two-month-old Archie’s big day today, releasing pictures on social media hours after the top secret ceremony took place in Windsor as they wanted to ‘share the joy’ of the special occasion.
The royal couple shared two snaps from the event with their near 9 million followers, posting that they felt ‘so happy to share the joy of this day with members of the public’ and thanking supporters for their kindness.
It comes after a backlash over their insistence that the ceremony would remain private and the identities of Archie’s godparents would not be revealed.
A few hours after the ceremony in Windsor, Meghan, 37, and Prince Harry, 34, released an official image in which they posed alongside the Duchess of Cornwall, The Prince of Wales, Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cambridge in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.
In a touching tribute to Harry’s mother, Princess Diana’s sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale were prominent in the official picture.
In the second image, which was black and white, Meghan was seen gazing into Harry’s eyes as the proud father looked down at Archie, while placing a hand on his wife’s arm.
Just 25 guests were present at the baptism today, which saw Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor christened in a private chapel at Windsor Castle, but the couple only released photographs celebrating with their immediate family. Archie is seventh in line to the throne and not an HRH.
As well as including Diana’s sisters in the snap, the proud parents also paid tribute to Archie’s grandmother by sitting on the same green chair with gold detailing that Diana and the Queen sat on for Harry’s official christening photographs.
The royal couple have faced growing backlash surrounding the event, as they insisted it be kept private, despite recently billing the public £2.4million to renovate Frogmore cottage.
Sharing the snaps with their near 9 million followers on the Sussex Royal Instagram, the happy couple wrote that they’d loved celebrating the day with the godparents of Archie – despite refusing to name them.
Alongside the two pictures from the event, which only featured close family members, they wrote: ‘This morning, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was christened in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle at an intimate service officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
‘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.
‘Their Royal Highnesses feel fortunate to have enjoyed this day with family and the godparents of Archie.
The post shared on the Sussexroyal account went on: ‘Their son, Archie, was baptised wearing the handmade replica of the royal christening gown which has been worn by royal infants for the last 11 years.
‘The original Royal Christening Robe, made of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1841 and first worn by her eldest daughter.
‘It was subsequently worn for generations of Royal christenings, including The Queen, her children and her grandchildren until 2004, when The Queen commissioned this handmade replica, in order for the fragile historic outfit to be preserved, and for the tradition to continue.’
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson also said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to share the happiness of this day, and would like to thank everyone around the world for their ongoing support. They feel so fortunate to have enjoyed this special moment with family and Archie’s godparents.’
Godparents of royal babies are traditionally announced beforehand – often on the morning of the christening – and conventionally elderly or foreign relatives were selected.
The appearance of Lady Fellowes and Lady McCorquodale in the family photo may fuel speculation Harry chose someone from his late mother’s family for the spiritual role.
But Harry and Meghan appear likely have followed in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s footsteps and opt for mostly friends over family.
Princess Diana’s sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale stood proudly alongside Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and Prince Charles.
Senior royals including Camilla, Prince William and Kate Middleton were also among the 25 guests at the intimate ceremony today.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge later shared the official picture from the christening on their kensingtonroyal Instagram account.
In the caption to the picture, which has since received 758,000 likes, it was explained that the snap was taken in the Green Drawing Room by Chris Allerton after Archie’s christening today.
The Duchess of Sussex wore a stunning white Dior gown, while The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a pink Stella McCartney dress and matching hairband for the christening.
In another touching nod to Princess Diana, Kate was also thought to be wearing the same Collingwood Pearl Earrings, that her mother-in-law wore to Prince Harry’s Christening in 1984.
In one picture shared on social media today, Meghan and Harry can be seen cuddling baby Archie in the grounds of Windsor Castle, with the rose garden in the background.
In the highly stylized black and white picture, the Duchess can be seen gazing at her husband while he looks down at their son.
The couple have been criticised for posting such images, with some suggesting fans could be left ‘jaded’ if they continue to release such pictures.
Fashion photographer Chris Allerton, who shot the wedding photographs of Harry and Meghan, said he was ‘honoured to take the official photographs at the christening’ and to ‘once again, be part of such a special and joyous occasion’.
Harry’s former nanny Tiggy Legge Bourke was among the guests at the private event today, and was seen driving away from Windsor Castle.
The service took place in a tiny chapel inside Windsor Castle, with many of the guests arriving discreetly by a back entrance to the grounds.
The royal couple have refused to reveal who their son’s godparents are despite billing the public £2.4million for renovations to Frogmore cottage.
A handful of royals fans gathered in Windsor for the event and, though excited, some suggested they have been left ‘disappointed’ that the public will not get to see any of the private ceremony or find out who has been chosen as godparents.
Anne Daley, 63, a keen supporter of the royals for most of her life, travelled from Wales and arrived outside Windsor with her dog Camilla – who she had dressed in christening attire – at 5am on Saturday.
Ms Daley, who also had a cake with her she had baked to mark the occasion, told PA: ‘We love everything about the royals. We’ve seen hands and feet, little fingers. But we’re very hurt. I pay a lot of tax for their civil duties.
‘One minute they want to be royals, the next they don’t.
‘That baby is Princess Diana’s grandson. We should be able to see the christening.
‘They want to have their cake and eat it. A lot of people don’t like to see them hang around the fake celebrities. Forget Hollywood. They are royal.
‘Harry wants it both ways. They’ve been ill-advised. The general public can’t work this out.’
Jon Loughrey, 64, who said he became a royal fan following the death of Diana in 1997, also expressed his disappointment.
He said: ‘I accept that it’s a private ceremony in a private chapel, but the late Princess Diana would have wanted Prince Harry to be more with the people.
‘We think highly of them and don’t want them to be isolated.
‘They’re all loved and have a lovely family. We’re very proud. But we miss Harry the golden boy. I pray for them every day.’
Mystery surrounded the private event, with the royal couple refusing to allow media into the event, and using a royal loophole to avoid telling public who had been chosen as godparents.
Several experts suggested it was a disappointing move, and would upset those who loved the couple the most.
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, suggested Prince Harry, 34, and Meghan Markle, 37, had ‘really upset the people who loved them the most’ with the move, telling the Daily Express they had ‘misinterpreted the whole situation’.
Seward went on to reveal: ‘The secrecy and evasiveness of the whole situation has been so mismanaged. It’s a real shame.’
Archie, who was born in May, wore the handmade replica of the royal christening robe, made by the Queen’s dressmaker Angela Kelly, during the ceremony.
The Lily Font, commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for the baptism of their first child Victoria, Princess Royal, in 1841, was used, as was water from the River Jordan.
The couple once again turned to fashion photographer Chris Allerton, who took their wedding photographs, to capture the moment.
Mr Allerton was set to take the official christening photos in Windsor Castle’s green drawing room and the pictures will be released later, Buckingham Palace said.
The date for Archie’s christening had to be pushed back by two days, after his parents discovered that both the Queen and Prince Charles had prior engagements on the first date.
While the Queen has bowed out graciously in order to spend a long planned weekend with Prince Philip in Sandringham, after a family conference it was decided that the date should be moved to accommodate Prince Charles.
He was away in Wales on the previously planned date to celebrate 50 years of him being Prince of the country.
Although her majesty has not been able to attend all of her great-grandchildren’s christenings, having missed Prince Louis’s baptism last year, it is understood that she would have like to be present for Prince Harry’s big celebration with his first child.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly shunned celebrities as godparents, instead turning to a close group of friends who played a key role at their wedding.
It has emerged in recent days that the couple are using a royal loophole to ensure baby Archie’s godparents remain a secret.
Under Church of England rules, the details of all baptisms, including the baby’s godparents, are a matter of public record and can be obtained easily for a small fee.
Royal sources have said that Meghan and Harry picked ‘close and old friends’ for the roles amid a backlash over the royal couple’s refusal to identify them because they are ‘private citizens’.
Harry’s touching tribute to his mother as Princess Diana’s sisters stand alongside royal family in Archie’s christening photos
Meghan and Harry have made a touching tribute to Princess Diana by including her sisters in the official royal christening photographs.
Princess Diana’s older sister Lady Jane Fellowes was one of the first to meet baby Archie, ahead of Prince Charles and Prince William, giving yet another indication of Harry’s dedication to his mother’s side of the family.
The royal couple have finally released photographs after the top secret christening today, although have still not revealed who the godparents of baby Archie are.
Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale can be seen beaming as they stand directly behind Harry and Meghan in the family photograph.
According to The Telegraph, Lady Jane, 62, was one of the first to drop in to meet Baby Sussex, ahead of senior royals including Prince Charles, Camilla and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince Harry has made clear that Diana has been on his mind since the birth of his son, and poignantly included her family in Archie’s official birth announcement.
Prince Harry has remained particularly close to Princess Diana’s family since her death, and invited Lady Jane to give a reading at the royal wedding last May.
And he made sure that Diana’s sisters had met Meghan ahead of their engagement, with the Duchess of Sussex confirming how special they are to Harry in their engagement interview in November 2017.
At the time, she mentioned how important she found meeting Harry’s aunt, as well as Princess Diana’s close friend Julia Fellowes.
Meghan said: ‘I think in being able to meet his aunts, I’m able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him. And it’s – it’s incredibly special.’
And Prince Harry and Meghan have kept Princess Diana’s family closely involved with the birth of their child.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Rebecca English, Harriet Johnston