It’s officially July, which means we're just days away from the christening of the newest little royal. And although details are still scarce and will likely remain that way, it’s been revealed that the choice of Archie’s christening location has a very special connection to the Queen, aka his great-grandma. That’s not surprising, considering Prince Harry’s love for his grandmother and the way she and Meghan Markle seem to get along.
The venue for the christening will be the Queen's private chapel in Windsor Castle, according to People. A royal insider told the publication that Prince Harry and Markle "wanted an intimate, peaceful setting" but also one that had "a special connection to Her Majesty." As the Daily Mail's Rebecca English pointed out on Twitter, this location is not the same as where Prince Harry and Markle tied the knot, which was St. George's chapel. Rather, the Queen's private chapel is smaller and is "in the inner sanctum of the castle," according to English.
The venue, in the inner sanctum of the castle, means it’s impossible to offer public access to the ceremony - although pressure is on to allow at least one news organisation access to arrivals, as well as the couple’s chosen photographer.
That’s a nice touch, since the Queen won’t actually be able to attend the christening due to prior commitments, according to INSIDER; she’s scheduled for commitments in Scotland throughout the first week of July. But this isn’t the first christening she’s missed due to her royal duties. According to Harper's Bazaar, she also wasn’t able to see Kate Middleton and Prince William's youngest, Prince Louis, christened in 2018 due to scheduling constraints.
But with the honors taking place in the Queen’s private chapel, she’ll definitely be there in spirit at least. English also revealed on Twitter, that the ceremony will be an intimate, family affair, with just 25 guests attending.
Of course, Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is expected to be there, as Parade reported, along with the Cambridge family and Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. Traditions are expected to be observed like the christening gown that Archie will wear; it’s the same one that royals have worn since 2004, and a replica of the exact gown that was used for 163 years in 62 royal christenings, according to Honey.
The Economic Times reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are going to keep thing extremely private, as they’ve been doing all along with little Archie. That means fans won’t be allowed to gather on the grounds and shouldn’t expect any candid photos of the family entering or leaving, like we've seen with the Cambridge kids.
This isn't the first time Prince Harry and Markle have paid tribute to the Queen. In fact, Archie’s full name — Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor — also has a connection to his great-grandmother. His last name was established by the Queen and Prince Philip when they wed, and was instituted at the time as the family name, according to Good Housekeeping.
When men in the family marry, they are often given duke titles, which come with a land designation. (For example, Prince Harry is the Duke of Sussex.) They have the option to use that title as a last name, or no last name at all. Prince William is the Duke of Cambridge and his children have the last name Cambridge on their birth certificates, according to Town & Country. Upon his marriage to Markle, Prince Harry was named the Duke of Sussex and people often refer to the couple as “the Sussexes”. But the last name they’ve given to Archie is Mountbatten-Windsor, like the Queen, as Town & Country reported.
Though he’ll likely never sit on the throne, as seventh in the line of succession, Archie’s parents are doing a great job honoring his royal heritage and Prince Harry’s close relationship to his grandmother.