Everything we know about Archie Harrison's christening

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The Royal Family welcomed baby Archie Harrison on May 6, and now he’s ready to be christened.

According to CNN, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will host a small ceremony at the private chapel at Windsor Castle on July 6 — two months to the day since Archie was born.


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Windsor Castle holds much significance for Prince Harry in particular.

He was christened in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in 1984, and it was also where he married Markle in May 2018.

The couple now resides in Frogmore Cottage on the grounds at Windsor Castle.

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The event will reportedly be extremely private, with just 25 of the couple’s close friends and family members — including Archie’s godparents — in attendance, a royal source told People.

This is typical of royal christenings, which have historically been very private affairs.

At Prince Louis’ christening in July 2018, only 21 people close to the baby were in attendance.

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During the ceremony, Archie will probably be christened using the Lily Font, a silver baptismal bowl in the form of a blooming flower.

The font was originally commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1840 and has been used for all royal christenings since.

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It is one of only two English silver fonts — the other was made in 1660 for King Charles II.

After the ceremony, guests will likely be invited to enjoy afternoon tea hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

According to the Royal Family, it’s customary that guests indulge in the christening cake, which is a tier taken from the wedding cake of the christened child’s mother and father.

The royal christening gown

Though unconfirmed, the Sunday Times reported that Archie will wear a replica of the historic royal christening gown originally used for the baptism of Princess Victoria in 1841.

According to the Royal Family, the original gown was commissioned by Queen Victoria and worn by 62 royal babies, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Harry.

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In 2008, Queen Elizabeth commissioned a replica by her dressmaker Angela Kelly in order to preserve the original.

James, Viscount Severn, was the first member of the Royal Family to wear this replica gown at his christening at the private chapel at Windsor Castle in the same year.

Archie’s cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, all wore the replica at their respective christenings.

The top picks for Archie’s godparents

Archie’s godparents have not yet been announced, but royal expert Victoria Arbiter says the group will likely be a mix of “close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too.”

For a royal child, the role of a godparent is a very serious one, meant to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s “spiritual journey.”

Arbiter believes a clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend (and Canadian) Jessica Mulroney.

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“She has been an amazing friend and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister … They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye,” Arbiter said.

She also thinks Harry’s cousin, Eugenie, is a possibility.

“If we were to see any Royals, Eugenie and Harry are very close,” Arbiter said. “I think Eugenie deeply appreciated her mother being included in Harry and Meghan’s guest list.”

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(Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, divorced from Prince Andrew in 1996.)

Arbiter also expects to see a few of Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, included.

Alternatively, Harry may pick his childhood nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

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“She was an amazing support when Diana died,” Arbiter said.

Although godparents to the family have historically been European royalty or members of the extended family, Arbiter says this is no longer the case.

“I think we’ll see a cross-section in terms of generations and we’ll see people who have been deeply loyal to the couple,” Arbiter said.

Archie’s place in the line of succession

Archie is the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild and Prince Charles’ fourth grandchild.

He’s also seventh in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince Harry.

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The child’s rank could fall further if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have more children. Prince Harry himself has fallen three spots since the birth of his nephews and niece.

The line to the throne was changed in recent years, following amendments made to the Succession to the Crown Act in 2013. The act applies to babies born after October 2011.

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Prior to those changes, male additions to the Royal Family outranked their female counterparts — even if they were younger.

Beyond the more immediate Royal Family, the line for the throne is quite extensive. It’s followed by the Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. It then moves on to the Queen’s third son, Prince Edward, and his children.

—With files from Maham Abedi and Laura Hensley

Meghan.Collie@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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