Joanita Wibowo

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Why Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's christening plan is attracting criticism

Why Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's christening plan is attracting criticism

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to break another royal tradition as the couple is reportedly planning to have a private christening for their one-month-old son next week.

The christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor – which will take place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle – will be off-limits to media, royal sources told The Sunday Times. No candid photos or fan gatherings will be allowed.

While it is not uncommon for members of the royal family to skip on photo ops, the practice has become more popular in recent decades. Prince William and Duchess Kate allowed fans to line up around the grounds for Prince George’s christening in 2013, Princess Charlotte’s in 2015 and Prince Louis’ in 2018. 

Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana also did the same for their sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie were also photographed with their parents, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, before and after their christenings.

The plan has been slammed by royal biographer Penny Junor, who claimed the couple “can’t have it both ways” after they came under fire for spending £2.4 million of taxpayers’ money to revamp their Frogmore Cottage residence.

Junor told The Times: “Either they are totally private, pay for their own house and disappear out of view or play the game the way it is played.

“Seeing Archie and his godparents arriving at the christening is what people are interested in … If they want it to be really private, hold it in a parish church, not St George’s Chapel where royal ceremonies are held.”

According to reports, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have only invited 25 family and friends to the special event. The Queen will not be attending due to other commitments.

It is believed that Archie will don a replica of the Honiton lace gown for the occasion. The original piece has been passed through generations in the royal family and worn by 62 royal babies, including Prince William and Prince Harry.