On Saturday Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be christening their firstborn Archie Harrison in the private chapel inside Windsor Castle. This christening will be a bit different than other royal christenings as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to make it entirely private, with no press allowed. But even with that, there are still some royal traditions at Archie’s Christening that the couple must uphold, so here is a list of the most important ones.
Archie will be dressed up in the iconic replica Honiton gown, made by Angela Kelly, who is the dressmaker to the Queen. The robe was replaced 15 years ago when in 2004 it was deemed too fragile to be used, so the Queen ordered a replica be made. The original was made in 1841 for Queen Victoria for the christening of her daughter Princess Victoria. This replica of the original has been worn since 2004, having been worn by all of Archie’s cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
The Archbishop Of Canterbury Will Officiate The Ceremony
Baby Archie will be christened by Archbishop of Canterbury, who has a history of christening royals, dating back as far as having christened Prince Charles and Prince William, as well as the younger royals, Prince George in 2013, Princess Charlotte in 2015 and the most recent Prince Louis in 2018. The Archbishop is also the one who christened and confirmed the Duchess of Sussex last year before she married Prince Harry.
The Jordan Water
A fun fact for all loyal fans, most of whom already know this, but royal babies are christened with holy water transported from Jordan to the UK. The water is no ordinary water, as it is from the River Jordan, the place where it is believed that Jesus was baptized by Saint John, and has become extremely popular among Christians that go on pilgrimages. The tradition comes from the royal family being devout followers of the Christian faith. When it came to Princess Charlotte’s christening, the water was transported by the Jordanian royal court. For Prince Louis’ christening, it was reported that Prince William had picked up some water from the river himself, as he had just visited the country.
The Llily Font
Baby Archie, like all other royal babies, will be christened using the ornate gilt Lily Font that is usually on the show as part of the crown jewels at the Tower of London. The font has been used since 1840 and was commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert ahead of the birth of their first child.
For Archie’s christening, the media will not be present, as it will all be done behind a closed door in the private chapel at Windsor Castle, away from the public. This means that we will not get any photos of the couple and their son entering and leaving the church, as royal fans have become accustomed to with Kate and William doing that with all three children. What we will be getting for sure is the official family portrait that is taken after the ceremony, which gives the public a glimpse of the new family. For example, Prince Harry’s christening photographs in 1984 included one in which Prince William took centre stage as the rest of the family looked on in hysterics.
Archie’s parents will release at least one photograph on Saturday. Their choice of photographer is Chris Allerton, with Buckingham Palace confirming on Wednesday: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look forward to sharing some images taken on the day by photographer Chris Allerton”.
This will be a rather small affair, with less than 25 people being planned for the intimate gathering. On the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s guest list, we are sure to see the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Meghan’s mum, Doria Ragland and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The godparents are also due to make an appearance, although they are still unknown, royal fans have their speculation and picks. The most recent choices seem to be Lindsay Roth and Genevieve Hillis are hot potentials. The two women were pictured with Meghan at Wimbledon on Thursday.
The Christening Cake
In another fun but a bit strange royal fact, it is extremely likely that guests will be served Meghan and Harry’s wedding cake from their ceremony last year, following the tradition that sees couples save the top tier of their cake for their children’s christenings. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge followed suit, offering their guests wedding cake at all three of their children’s christenings. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had a nontraditional lemon elderflower cake topped with buttercream and fresh flowers at their wedding, made by chef Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery in London.