Baby Archie will wear the historic royal robe worn by his cousins for today’s christening ceremony, while his portraits will be taken in the same drawing room as his parents’ wedding photos and where Charles and Diana celebrated Harry’s own christening.
Archie will be christened at a ‘small, private’ ceremony at Windsor Castle, where he will become the ninth royal baby to be christened in the Honiton lace and white satin gown first used at the christening of James, Viscount Severn in 2008.
The frilly cream outfit is a replica of the intricate lace and satin christening gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter that was used for all royal baptisms until Lady Louise Windsor’s in 2004.
Archie will be the ninth royal to be christened in the Honiton lace and white satin gown (pictured: Prince George wearing the gown at his christening in October 2013)
The Duchess of Cambridge carrying Prince George (left and Princess Charlotte (right) at their christenings in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Both are wearing the gown that Archie will wear today
James, Viscount Severn was the first to be christened in the gown in April 2008 (left). It was also used for Savannah (pictured in 2011 with her parents and the Queen) and Isla Phillips (right)
It was created by the Queen‘s dresser Angela Kelly, and features the same lengthy skirt and elaborate collars and bow as its predecessor.
The original robe, made in 1841, was worn by the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry among others, and has now been carefully preserved.
Archie’s official portraits will be taken in Windsor Castle’s Green Drawing Room, where Harry and Meghan’s wedding pictures were taken in May 2018
An excitable Prince William delights guests as he merrily runs around the Green Drawing Room
Prince Harry looks wide-eyed as he is held by his mother Princess Diana ahead of his christening
Prince Charles holds Prince William while Prince Harry is held by his mother as they attend the christening celebrations in the Green Drawing Room in 1984
In keeping with tradition, the water used for Archie’s christening will be holy water from the River Jordan, where it is said Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist.
The ornate silver gilt Lily Font – part of the Crown Jewels – will also form part of the proceedings.
The baptismal font, comissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 after the birth of their first child, Victoria, was first used at The Princess Royal’s christening in 1841 and has been a feature of Royal christenings ever since.
The official photographs of Archie’s christening will be taken in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, the historic backdrop for the official wedding photographs of Prince Harry and Meghan in May 2018.
The Green Drawing Room back to its former glory in 1996 after years of painstaking renovations
Princess Diana, a vision in royal blue, holds Harry as she beckons his cousins to come over and say hello to him
The Queen hosts India’s President Prabibha Patill and her husband Dr Devisingh Ramsingh Shekhawat in October 2009
A state affair: The Queen hosts the Irish president Michael D Higgins in April 2014
The royal family also celebrated Harry’s christening in the same room back in 1984.
Adorable footage shows a very young Harry gurgling and smiling at the camera as he wears his great-grandmother’s christening gown, while his mother Princess Diana proudly holds him on a chair identical to the one he posed on alongside Meghan last year.
In the historic footage, broadcast as part of the Queen’s 1984 Christmas message, the grand reception room is filled with familiar faces of the royal family who are celebrating baby Harry’s christening.
A cheeky Prince William steals the show, running circles around family members before being scooped up by his father Prince Charles.
Prince Philip sits alongside his beloved wife the Queen for a special portrait captured in the Green Drawing Room in 2011 to mark the Diamond Jubilee and his 90th birthday
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
The film shows Princess Diana, dressed in royal blue, carefully holding Prince Harry as she asks his cousin Zara to come over and say hello to him.
As well as family engagements, the Green Drawing Room has been a popular stage for the Queen to host official engagements – hosting the Indian prime minister in 2009 and the first Irish head of state in 2014.
But this came after a lengthy process of renovations after the room was gutted by a devastating fire in 1992.
Royal babies must be christened owing to the Queen’s role as Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Prince Charles straightens Prince Harry’s historic christening gown, designed by Queen Victoria’s dress maker in 1871
The historical footage was broadcast as part of the Queen’s 1984 Christmas message
Meanwhile the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured in the Green Drawing Room for their official wedding photographs) have reportedly shunned celebrities as godparents for Archie
They are often welcomed into the Christian 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 and was three months old when he was christened, while Louis and Charlotte were both also 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.
At Archie’s ceremony today members of the St George’s Chapel Choir will sing before members of the Royal Family including The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
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
The Queen is however unable to attend her new great-grandson’s christening after a major diary clash.
‘Her Majesty was already scheduled to be in Scotland for her annual Holyrood Week and had a prior engagement at the weekend,’ a senior employee at Buckingham Palace told the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have reportedly shunned celebrities as godparents and instead turned to a group of friends whose children played a key role in their wedding.
Royal sources said last night 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’.
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.