Prince Harry and Meghan's decision to christen baby Archie in 'private' slammed after taxpayers hit with $3 million bill
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first child, Baby Archie, is set to be christened next week at the same Windsor Chapel where both his father and uncle, Prince William, were baptized. The infant's parents were also married at the same venue in 2018. However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are firmly sticking to their desire of raising Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor as a "private citizen" as the royal couple has closed the event to the public, according to reports.
The Sussexes had faced heavy criticism last week for the lavish renovations of their home, Frogmore Cottage, by spending a whopping £2.4 million ($3.46mn) of taxpayers' money. With the couple's intent of keeping Archie's christening a private affair, the criticism could heighten. Prince William and Kate had allowed media access to the baptisms of all their three children before conducting the ceremonies in private.
Reports state that the Queen will not be attending Archie's christening, and Prince Charles and Camilla will instead lead the royal party. The two-month-old royal baby has been seen in public just once, and that was days after his birth. However, his photographs, including one paying tribute for Father's Day, have been posted on the royal family's Instagram page.
Baby Archie, seventh in line to the throne, is set to wear a replica of the vintage lace gown in which his father was christened, as the youngster will be welcomed into his faith in St George's Chapel in Windsor. The ceremony is expected to be overseen by the Dean of Windsor, the Rev David Conner, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. To mark the ceremony Archie’s brow will be doused with water from the River Jordan from the royal Lily Font.
Reports state that royal christenings are generally private affairs, with invitations for the event only extended to close friends and family, and chosen godparents. It is not yet known who Archie's godparents are.
A Windsor Castle ticket includes the price of a visit to St George's Chapel, and according to its website those who have a ticket for the visit can also attend services for free at St George's Chapel. The ticket costs £22.50 ($28.56) and it is not yet known that those people who had planned to visit the chapel during the ceremony will be reimbursed or not, the Daily Mail stated.
After the amount spent on the renovation of the Windsor Castle revealed last week, it was stated that the couple had also added luxury features to the castle, which was funded privately. The features reportedly take inspiration from the Soho Farmhouse chain, which is a favorite spot for the royal couple.