THE QUEEN has allowed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to keep Archie’s godparents private.
While the details of Church of England christenings are usually publicly available – a special royal rule means this won’t be the case for the Duke and Duchess’s two-month-old son’s baptism on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Meghan and Harry announced that while official pictures of the occasion would be released, the ceremony held at Windsor Castle will be a private affair with just 25 guests and the identities of the godparents kept secret.
It had been thought that, in line with government legislation, their names would be revealed in due course, along with other information, like the occupations of both parents and officiating minister.
However, details of royal christenings can legally be kept under wraps.
A spokesperson for the Church of England said: “Under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978 all baptisms must be registered and the record made is normally publicly available for searches and for the making of certified copies of entries.
“However the register to be used in this case is held privately by the royal household on behalf of the Crown and we understand that it has never complied with the usual requirement.”
Instead, the details of Archie’s baptism will be held on the royal register – which is likely to remain in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle for posterity.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson confirmed: “The Baptism will be registered on the royal register and held privately as other royal baptisms have been.”
The christenings of all three of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children will be stored in the same manner.
However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge opted each time – like Prince Charles and Princess Diana – to release the names of the godparents of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Their firstborn, who was baptised in October 2013 at St James’s Palace, has Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Earl Grosvenor, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the Hon. Julia Samuel, William van Cutsem and Zara Tindall as godparents.
For their daughter in July 2015 at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, Sophie Carter, James Meade, Adam Middleton, Laura Fellowes and Thomas van Straubenzee took on the role.
Louis’ godparents – Nicholas van Cutsem, Guy Pelly, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, Lady Laura Meade, Robert Carter and Lucy Middleton – were revealed in July 2018, on the day of his christening at St James’s Palace.
It has been rumoured that Archie’s godparents will include Jessica Mulroney and Mark Dyer, however Meghan appeared at Wimbledon yesterday with American university friends Lindsay Roth and Genevieve Hillis.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace announced: “Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened in a small private ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday 6th July.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look forward to sharing some images taken on the day by photographer Chris Allerton.
“The godparents, in keeping with their wishes, will remain private.”
On Saturday, the christening will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Doria Ragland will be among those in attendance.
Archie will wear a replica of the royal christening gown originally commissioned by Queen Victoria, and will be baptised in an £11,000 gold font.
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