How Archie's Royal Christening Differs from Cousins George, Charlotte and Louis' Ceremonies
So what elements were similar to the christenings of Kate and William’s three children — and what was different?
Who Performed the Service
Following in his cousins’ tiny footsteps, Archie’s service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who christened Prince George in October 2013, Princess Charlotte in July 2015 and Prince Louis in July 2018 — and even officiated Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding and performed Meghan’s baptism.
Charlotte, 4, was christened at Sandringham’s St. Mary Magdalene church in Norfolk — in the same church where her late grandmother Princess Diana was christened. However, the ceremonies for George, 5, and Louis, 1, were held at St. James’s Palace‘s Chapel Royal. The Chapel Royal was where the Duchess of Sussex had her own baptism ahead of her nuptials.
Meghan and Prince Harry‘s son had his christening on Saturday at Queen Elizabeth’s private chapel at Windsor Castle. The new parents chose the location because they “wanted an intimate, peaceful setting in a place with such a special connection to Her Majesty,” a royal source tells PEOPLE. And the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not have to travel far from their Frogmore Cottage home, also on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
George, Charlotte and Louis took their christening portraits while wearing a family heirloom — a replica of the historic royal christening gown first worn by Queen Victoria’s daughter, also named Victoria, in 1841. The gown was designed by the Queen’s assistant, Angela Kelly, and Buckingham Palace’s team of dressmakers in 2008.
Archie followed in the tradition, wearing the same gown as his big cousins.
What Mom Wore
For all three of her children, Kate wore off-white for their christenings.
Meghan also wore white for son Archie’s christening, choosing a Dior ensemble for the big day.
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Who Was in Attendance
Queen Elizabeth was present for the christenings of both George and Charlotte. In fact, Charlotte’s big day came with a cute moment of Prince George having a chat with his great-grandmother.
In July 2018, however, the monarch and Prince Philip sat out the royal christening of her great-grandson Prince Louis. The decision that the Queen would not be attending the event was “mutually agreed” between the monarch, Prince William and Kate “some time ago,” a palace source told PEOPLE. Everyone in the family was “comfortable with the arrangement,” the source added.
The Queen and her husband also missed Archie’s christening. The pair are believed to be at Sandringham together and the Queen’s absence is likely due to her busy schedule.
She just capped off a heavy work week and she has another one in the week ahead. And at 93, she has been handing over certain roles and patronages to senior members of the royal family.
The gathering for Archie was attended by around 25 close family members and friends, including Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland as well as William and Kate, who wore a pink Stella McCartney dress. Royal christenings are typically private, with only close family, friends and godparents in attendance.
As seen in a family portrait shared on Harry and Meghan’s Instagram account, Prince Charles and wife Camila, Duchess of Cornwall were also in attendance with Princess Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes.