It's Almost Time for Royal Baby Archie's Christening. Here's Everything We Know So Far
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex introduced their firstborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world on May 8, just two days after his May 6 birth. But since then, Harry and Meghan have largely kept their new royal baby out of the spotlight — with the exception of a few Instagram posts, that is.
Now, royal baby Archie will have his July christening. Of course, the baptism itself will be a private affair. But royals fans will at least have a chance to catch a glimpse of Archie in photos from the day. If we’re lucky, we may even get our first shot of the full Cambridge and Sussex broods all in one place.
When is Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s christening?
The palace said in a statement Wednesday that royal baby Archie’s christening will take place on July 6, two months after his May 6 birth. The baptism ceremony will be held at Queen Elizabeth II’s private chapel at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England.
What can we expect from the event?
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will preside over the christening, during which royal baby Archie will be officially baptized into the Church of England. The Archbishop will use the Lily Font, a gilded silver bowl that has been used at the christening of every royal baby since 1841, to bless Archie with water from the River Jordan, where Jesus was believed to have been baptised by John the Baptist, and welcome him into the Anglican faith.
As with all royal christenings, the ceremony is expected to be a smaller, private affair that won’t be open to the public.
When will we see photos of royal baby Archie’s christening?
It’s likely that the palace will share photos of the happy celebration on Instagram where Archie has made some appearances eventually, and this story will be updated with any celebratory images from the palace.
What christening gown will Archie wear?
Royal baby Archie will likely wear the same traditional white satin-lined Honiton lace christening gown that has been worn by all of Queen Elizabeth II’s great-grandchildren — including Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge. The gown is an exact replica of the dress that Queen Victoria commissioned for the royal baptism of her daughter Victoria in 1841.
The original gown was worn by 62 royal babies over the course of 163 years before being retired in 2004 following the christening of the Queen’s granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor. The Queen then tasked Angela Kelly, her personal wardrobe advisor, with replacing the gown.
In 2008, James, Viscount Severn — the queen’s youngest grandchild — became the first royal baby to wear the newer version of the gown. Subsequently, it’s been worn by each royal newborn at their respective christenings.
Will Prince William and Kate Middleton attend?
While there’s yet to be any official confirmation, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are both expected to attend royal baby Archie’s christening just as Harry and Meghan attended Prince Louis’ christening last July. Before Meghan came along, Harry also made a solo appearance at Prince George’s christening in October 2013. However, he did miss Princess Charlotte’s in July 2015 because of a work trip to Namibia. George, Charlotte and Louis will likely all be at St. George’s Chapel as well to support their new cousin — and will probably steal the show in at least a few photos.
What about the Queen?
Queen Elizabeth reportedly won’t be present at royal baby Archie’s christening because she “will be absent on other duties.” But her absence won’t be out of the norm and shouldn’t be viewed as a snub to Harry and Meghan. While the Queen did attend Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s christenings, she missed Prince Louis’ last year as well.
What other notables will be there?
Without the Queen there, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall could be the highest-ranking royals in attendance at royal baby Archie’s christening. Other notables likely to be present include Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, as well as whoever Harry and Meghan choose to be Archie’s godparents.
As Archie’s aunt and uncle, Kate and William likely won’t be tapped as godparents since they’re already guaranteed to play an important role in their nephew’s life.
The close friends and family members who are speculated to be possible choices for the role of godparent include Serena Williams, Jessica and Ben Mulroney, Benita Litt, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall, Tom Inskip and Jake Warren. But that will be a private matter.
In a statement Wednesday, the palace said that the christening at Windsor Castle on Saturday will be private and that “the godparents, in keeping with their wishes, will remain private.”