The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a discreet appearance at baby Archie’s christening today, as Meghan and Harry continue to face criticism over the ‘secret’ event.
Prince William, 37, donned dark glasses as he drove himself and Kate Middleton, 37, into the rear gates of Windsor Castle, shortly before the private ceremony began at 12pm.
It is believed Prince Charles and Camilla were among some of the first of the 25 guests at the occasion, and landed in the grounds of the castle having flown via helicopter this morning.
Prince Harry’s former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke is also believed to have been in attendance at the private event, sparking speculation she could be one of the godparents.
A handful of royals fans have gathered in Windsor and, though excited, some have 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.
As senior royals gather in Windsor, mystery remains surronding the private event, as well as those who have been chosen as godparents.
Prince William, 37, wore dark glasses as he arrived at Windsor Castle today ahead of his nephew’s christening
Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor during a photocall in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in Berkshire
Excited fans gathered outside the castle cheered as they watched the Changing of the Guard taking place in Windsor today
The royal drove himself and Kate Middleton into Windsor castle today (pictured, William driving and Kate in the passenger seat)
Royal fans cheered and snapped photographs as they watched the Changing of the Guard taking place outside Windsor Castle ahead of the royal christening
Crowds gathered in Windsor appeared overjoyed to watch the Changing of the Guard ahead of the royal christening today
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.’
The royal couple have refused to reveal who their son’s godparents are despite billing the public £2.4million for renovations to Frogmore cottage.
Prince William and Kate made a discreet entrance into the family event, taking the back entrance to drive into the Windsor Castle grounds.
Ingrid Seward suggested the royal couple were ‘upsetting those who loved them the most’ as backlash grows surrounding Archie’s private christening today
The royal couple, who were seen arriving shortly before the ceremony began at 12pm, appeared to be wearing blue in honour of the baby boy.
Publicity expert Mark Borkowski also warned of growing backlash, saying: ‘This is what you’d expect a Hollywood A-lister to do – purposefully to be antagonist to the traditional system and not engaging with media in any shape or form.’
He pointed to the £2.4 million cost of the Frogmore Cottage renovation, and suggested the royal couple were ‘not making any friends’ with the move to keep Archie’s christening private.
Even though there is thought to be little chance of the royals making an appearance, a handful of fans still lined the streets in the hopes of catching a glimpse of baby Archie.
Prince William and Kate Middleton made a discreet entrance to the royal event today, driving in a back entrance of Windsor Castle
A group has gathered outside the castle, faithfully clutching banners plastered with the royal couple and their son’s face and waving flags, to show their support for the royal couple.
Stephen and Christina Shiels, from Northern Ireland, stood among the crowds with their five-year-old twins Chloe and Taylor.
Transport planner Stephen, 31, told MailOnline: ‘It’s great to be feel part of it. I would have preferred to see a bit more of the ceremony, it would have been better if it was a public event.’
The Yoreo family from Connecticut, USA, said they were huge royal fans and accepted Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to hold the christening in private.
A small group of royal fans have gathered outside Windsor Castle in a desperate attempt to catch a glimpse of baby Archie, including royal superfan John Loughrey,
Some royal fans have spoken of their disappointment over Meghan and Harry’s decision to keep the ceremony private (pictured, a superfan prepares flags and posters outside Windsor Castle)
Kevin Yoreo told MailOnline: ‘We are all just so fascinated by the royal family, I think all Americans are. And not just because of Meghan has become part of it.
‘I respect their decision to conduct the christening in private. I’m sure they have to deal with a lot of fuss being part of the royal family.’
Wife Heather added: ‘I’m sorry that we are not going to see them [Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Prince Archie]. But I suppose this is an important day for them as a family.’
Ex-pat Briton Tony Foster told how he would have loved to see the new royal baby, Prince Archie, but was not upset at the decision to keep the ceremony private.
Tony from Auckland, New Zealand, told MailOnline: ‘It would have been nice to see the new baby but really I suppose it’s up to them [Duke and Duchess of Sussex].
Harry and Meghan take one of William and Kate’s most treasured aides one month after they quit the Cambridges Royal Foundation to make their own
It was announced last month that Harry and Meghan would be quitting the Royal Foundation they share with William and Kate.
And I can reveal the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be taking one of the Royal Foundation’s most distinguished directors with them to run their new power base.
Natalie Campbell, right with the Duchess of Cambridge, was a director at the Royal Foundation
Last month it was announced Harry and Meghan would be quitting the Royal Foundation they share with William and Kate. It has now been revealed they are taking Ms Campbell with them
She is Natalie Campbell, an award-winning ‘social entrepreneur’ who is the Royal Foundation’s ‘director of insight and innovation’.
‘Natalie will be a real loss to William and Catherine,’ a courtier tells me. ‘She has done brilliantly for the Royal Foundation and formed a bond with Meghan when she worked with her on the cookbook for survivors of the Grenfell fire.
‘Her loss will be keenly felt by the Cambridges.’ Harry and Meghan lost no time in establishing their own charitable organisation.
I can disclose that its name, The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was trademarked the very next day after the announcement of the split.
Ms Campbell, right, was said to have ‘formed a bond with Meghan when she worked with her on the cookbook for survivors of the Grenfell fire’
Their spokesman confirmed Natalie’s appointment and added: ‘A full board and trustees will be appointed in due course.’
A sign of the tensions ahead came this week when Harry and Meghan used their new Instagram account to publicise 15 environmental causes to their 8.8 million followers, with no mention of William’s charity, United For Wildlife.
‘It was unbelievable,’ one of Wills and Kate’s friends tells me. ‘Harry knows how passionate William is about the charity, it was a real snub.’
Kensington Palace sources insist William was not left ‘disappointed’ by the omission. Such magnanimity will be needed in months to come.
Prince Charles is expected to attend the christening today in Windsor with Camilla (pictured, Charles in Wales yesterday meeting farmers
Prince William and Kate pictured attending the traditional Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in April this year. They are also expected to attend the christening today
The royal photographer who will capture Archie’s christening
Photographer and former soldier Chris Allerton will capture shots of Archie’s christening today, having previous taken private photographs for Meghan and Harry.
Allerton is said to have formed a close bond with the couple, having taken private pictures during Archie’s photocall as well as the royal wedding.
He is said to have developed his first roll of film at just eight years old and according to his website ‘has been hooked on photography since’.
Allerton left the British Army in 2001 and went on to Lichfield Studios in Notting Hill.
One of the shots taken by Chris Allerton during Archie’s introduction to the world (left) looked extremely similar to the one the couple used on their official Christmas card (right)
It was here that he learnt the skills needed to master professional photography. He now travels all over the world and has clients such as Harpers Bazaar, Tatler and broadsheet newspapers.
After taking photos at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May last year, Allerton posted his thanks to the couple.
He said: ‘It was a great honour to be asked to photograph The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding day in May. I am delighted that Their Highnesses chose this photograph for their Christmas card.’
The couple used their SussexRoyal account to post the photographs taken by Chris Allerton
Allerton had previous studies at the University of Reading, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Prior to that he attended the prestigious Stowe School in Buckinghamshire.
In 1992 he started his Army career and served there until 2001. During his time in the Army he worked for the Household Cavalry.
He was commissioned into The Life Guards, Household Cavalry, before serving in Bosnia in 1994 and Singapore and Argentina in 1995.
In the second snap the couple look adoringly at their new arrival, named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor
His last posting was in 1998 at the Adjutant New College at The Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. He resigned commission in 2000.
In 2001 he started work as a photographic director for Photographic Records. He worked there for over two years.
He then decided to start his own company Allerton Photography, which has offices in both London and Wiltshire.
‘I don’t mind paying for the royal family, they’re worth every penny. Just look at the amount of tourists they bring to Windsor.’
He added: ‘I think Prince William has a real understanding of the common man and is much closer to ordinary people than his grandfather Prince Philip.’
The ‘small, private’ baptism will take place in the private chapel at Windsor castle, before official portraits will be taken in the same drawing room where Charles and Diana celebrated Harry’s christening.
A handful of royal fans have gathered in the streets of Windsor in the hope that they will catch a glimpse of the royals.
One particularly excited devotee has even baked a cake for the christening and written Archie’s name onto it.
Royal fans have been seen lining the street brandishing balloons, flags and banners to celebrate baby Archie’s big day
Dedicated royal fans desperate to catch a glimpse of baby Archie are lining the streets of Windsor
Anne Daley dresses her dog Camilla in christening attire along with balloons in celebration ahead of the royal christening of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie
Royal fans have been seen lining the street, even though the royals are not thought to be making an appearance, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the royal baby
One particularly excited royal devotee has even baked a cake for the baptism, and written Archie’s name onto it in blue
Who are in line to be Archie’s royal godparents?
ON MEGHAN’S SIDE
THE MOTHER OF MEGHAN’S GODCHILDREN: Benita Litt
If Meghan decides a reciprocal godparenting arrangement might be best, then she may well look to the mother of her own godchildren.
Benita Litt, mother to Remi and Rylan Litt, was spotted close to Meghan’s mother Doria at the royal wedding with the pair clearly delighted to be representing the Duchess’s side of the family.
A former entertainment lawyer, high-flying Benita has previously been on holiday with the royal – and if you needed any further proof of their solid friendship, the pair also spent Christmas 2016 together.
Benita Litt (pictured left at the Royal wedding with Meghan’s mother Doria) is the mother of Meghan’s godchildren Remi and Rylan Litt
THE UNIVERSITY PAL: Lindsay Roth
Keeper of some of the Duchess’ oldest secrets, Lindsay Roth is a fellow alumni from Northwestern University in Illinois, where the pair bonded in an English literature class studying Toni Morrison’s works.
Now a successful TV producer and author, Lindsay has already bestowed a role on Meghan, choosing her to serve as her maid of honour at her wedding in 2016.
Lindsay Roth (pictured with Meghan) is one of her oldest friends and a fellow alumni from Meghan’s time spent studying literature at Northwestern
On Harry’s side
THE SECOND FATHER: Mark Dyer
Mark Dyer has been noted as a ‘second father’ to Prince Harry throughout his upbringing and a mentor alongside the royal’s former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
Cheltenham College educated Dyer, known as Marko to friends, became a steadying big brother figure to the princes in the mid-Nineties when he worked as an equerry to the Prince of Wales for 18 months.
Prince Charles appointed Dyer to keep an eye on his sons, and he was brought in as a male counterpart to former royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
During the first half term after Diana’s death, when the boys would have been with their mother, Prince Charles was committed to a five day visit to Africa.
He took Harry along and while the Prince carried out engagements, Harry went off on safari in Botswana, organised by Mark.
From then on he was a key guiding figure as Harry and William tried to come to terms with the loss of their mother.
After his spell as an employee to the Prince ended he remained a mentor to Harry.
In 2009 Mark founded the management company MDM Bars and Pubs and runs two pubs The Sand’s End and The Brown Cow, in south-west London which both became haunts of Prince Harry.
Mark’s six-year-old son Jasper, who is Prince Harry’s godson, was chosen as a page boy for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding.
Mark Dyer (pictured with Harry) has been described as a ‘second father’ to Prince Harry following his mother Princess Diana’s death
THE FATHER OF HARRY’S GODCHILD: Jake Warren
Jake Warren and his wife Zoe attended the couple’s wedding, and their daughter Zalie – who is one of Prince Harry’s godchildren – was chosen to be a flower girl.
The godson of Princess Diana, Jake grew up alongside Prince Harry and has often been spotted with him at events including Ascot.
The Warren family are closely connected to the royals through horse-racing. Jake’s father John Warren is the Queen’s racing manager.
The father-and-son team run Highclere Stud in Newbury together.
Jake Warren and his wife Zoe had their daughter Zali, who is one of Prince Harry’s godchildren, attended their wedding (Harry and Jake pictured together at Royal Ascot in 2014)
Meanwhile royal commentator Duncan Larcombe, and author of Prince Harry – The Inside Story, has slammed the young couple’s ‘petulant’ decision to lock the press out of the event.
‘It’s disappointing for me because I really like Harry and I’ve known him for a long time’, he told Sky News.
‘But it seems like there is a pettiness and a truculence since he got married, since perhaps news of their relationship became public.
Baby Archie will wear a gown based on an 1841 version for Queen Victoria’s first child
At his christening today baby Archie will don a Honiton lace and white satin gown modelled on the version first used for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter.
Made in 1841, the gown was worn by the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry before it was taken out of use after Lady Louise Windsor’s baptism in 2004.
Prince George pictured wearing the same gown in October 2013
A replica was then made by the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly, that Prince Archie will use today.
It has previously been donned by his cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
And it was first used in 2008 for the christening of James, Viscount of Severn.
‘I think you can trace it back to then – the sort of petulance that, over a longer period of time, could do him a lot of harm.’
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’.
Royal sources have suggested that Meghan and Harry have picked ‘close and old friends’ for the roles amid backlash over the royal’s refusal to identify them (pictured: Meghan attended Wimbledon with two of her university friends, Lindsay Roth and Genevieve Hillis, to watch friend Serena Williams play on Thursday)
The tiny private chapel where Archie will be christened was rebuilt after devastating fire
The intimate private chapel where Archie Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened had to be entirely rebuilt following the devastating Windsor Castle fire.
Now with a distinctive blue vaulted ceiling and white walls, the tiny place of worship sits in the inner sanctum of the Queen’s favourite home.
Among its new features are six stained glass windows designed by Archie’s great-grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh.
Philip came up with the inspiration for the windows – which depict a firefighter battling the flames and a workman salvaging a portrait – during the mass restoration of the ancient castle.
The Private Chapel (pictured), as its name suggests, is not on the tourist trail. It is a royal inner sanctum so intimate that it seats just a dozen worshippers. When the Queen wants to commune with the Almighty alone, this is where she comes
More than 200 firefighters from seven counties tackled the inferno, while staff rushed to remove precious works of art from the Royal Collection from the path of the fire, forming a human chain, helped by the Duke of York, who was in the castle at the time.
The fire, which broke out on the Queen and Philip’s 45th wedding anniversary on November 20 1992, started in the original 19th century private chapel when a workman’s spotlight accidentally set a curtain alight.
More than 100 rooms including nine State Rooms and the vast medieval St George’s Hall were destroyed.
The gothic chapel, which was added by Queen Victoria, was irreparably damaged.
It all changed on November 20, 1992, one of the darker days in Windsor Castle’s 1,000-year history. It was in the chapel that an overheated lamp set fire to a curtain. It caused an inferno (pictured) which raged day and night through some of the oldest and most important rooms in Britain, illuminating the night sky for miles around
Today, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured) will head for the Upper Ward and Windsor’s other house of God for the christening of their son, Archie, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, behind firmly closed doors
It was formed from a music room for the monarch in the 1840s by the architect Edward Blore, and Victoria regularly worshipped there.
Her daughter Princess Helena was married in the tiny chapel and several of her other children were confirmed and christened in the historic setting, which was separated from St George’s Hall by a beautifully carved screen.
It was also where the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal were confirmed, and where royals including the Earl of Wessex and Zara Phillips were christened
Most striking, however, is the great stained glass window (pictured) which dominates and illuminates this chapel
But following the fire 27 years ago it was left a blackened shell with the crumbling masonry of partially collapsed walls rising above a pitted stone floor.
As part of the £37 million restoration project, it was redesigned and relocated from the end of St George’s Hall to the more practical position within the area of the old Holbein Room.
It has room for only 30 people, with short rows of red-backed chairs, and is rectangular in shape, rather than the irregular shape of the original.
Archie will be christened in the sanctuary, just like the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s daughter Lady Louise Windsor was in 2004.
The chapel was fashioned with a new vestry, arched balconies with choir and organ lofts and carved wooden doors, matching the ceiling decoration.
Its wooden altar was crafted by the Queen’s nephew, Viscount Linley, now the Earl of Snowdon.
The site of the original chapel is now the gothic-style octagonal ante-room which serves as a grand entrance for state dinners.
It features an inscribed stone tablet marking the spot where the fire started.
The restoration of the Berkshire castle took five years.
It comes as the Queen’s former spokesperson Dickie Arbiter told MailOnline that details about godparents are ‘private’ but previous royal parents including the Cambridges have chosen to share the information.
Mr Arbiter also explained how although Archie’s godparents’ identities might not be officially released on Saturday, they will be put in the royal records which is held at Windsor Castle and will be available to historians in the future.
The chosen few are likely to include Meghan’s friend Benita Litt and Harry’s childhood mentor Mark Dyer, while more-notable names including Jessica Mulroney and Serena Williams are out.
Ms Litt is an old friend from Los Angeles whose daughters Remi and Rylan – both Meghan’s goddaughters – were bridesmaids at the couple’s wedding.
This royal fan has been seen clutching flags for both Harry and Meghan’s countries as he waits on the ground outside the castle
Television camera crews have also been seen preparing for baby Archie’s big day. He will be christened in the private chapel at Windsor castle
Princess Diana poses with Prince Harry on December 21, 1984, after his christening on an identical chair to which he sits on three decades later for his official wedding photographs
What could we expect from Archie’s christening?
With the christening well under way, what here is a look at what goes on at royal baptisms:
Traditionally, the top tier of a royal wedding cake is set aside for christenings. However Harry and Meghan opted for a sponge cake on their wedding day in 2018, rather than a fruit cake, so it’s likely they’ll have a new cake for the baptism’s reception
The top tier of a royal wedding cake is traditionally set aside for royal christenings, just like William and Kate did with their seven tier fruit cake.
But Harry and Meghan chose a layered lemon and elderflower sponge cake, decorated with fresh buttercream, by Claire Ptak of the Violet Bakery, for their wedding reception.
Fruit cakes can be stored for years, but sponge cakes should generally be eaten within two to three days.
The duke and duchess may have decided instead to call on Ms Ptak to make a new cake for Archie’s big day – or could turn to palace chefs as they entertain their christening guests at a reception afterwards.
According to tradition, the water used for Archie’s service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby, will be holy water from the River Jordan, where it is said Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist.
Royal babies are also christened using the ornate silver gilt Lily Font – part of the Crown Jewels.
It is decorated with lilies and ivy foliage around the rim, features three cherubs around the base, and the main bowl is a large lily bloom.
The font was specially commissioned by Queen Victoria to prevent her children being tarnished by association with the illegitimate offspring of Charles II, who were all born out of wedlock and christened using the previous font, the Charles II Font.
Royal babies must be christened owing to the Queen’s role as Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
They are often welcomed into the faith within weeks of being born – in Archie’s case, the ceremony comes exactly two months after his arrival on May 6.
Prince George was a little older, aged three months, when he was christened while Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were both aged around two months.
Prince William was baptised on August 4 1982 at the age of six weeks, while Harry was three months old.
The Prince of Wales was one month and one day old at his own christening. The Queen was just five weeks old when she was christened.
Baby Archie’s portrait will be taken in the green drawing room where Prince Harry was snapped after his own christening 35 years ago
After he is christened in the private ceremony, baby Archie will be taken to Windsor castle’s green drawing room for his official portrait.
The room is famously used by the royals as the best spot for photographs both on family occasions and when heads of other nations visit.
Prince Harry had his picture taken in the room after his christening, and was photographed with Meghan there after their wedding.
It has also been a popular stage for the Queen to hold official engagements, having hosted the prime minister of India there in 2009 and the first Irish head of state in 2014.
The room had to undergo extensive renovation in 1992 after it was gutted by fire.
The Green drawing room pictured in 1996 just after it had been restored following a fire four years earlier