Royal Hand-Me-Down! Archie Will Wear Same Christening Robe as Cousins George, Charlotte and Louis
The family heirloom is a replica of the historic royal christening gown first worn by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, also named Victoria, in 1841
Archie is following in his older cousins’ royal footsteps.
The littlest royal family member will be keeping with tradition for his official royal christening day on Saturday by wearing the same gown as Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1, wore for their own ceremonies.
The family heirloom is a replica of the historic royal christening gown first worn by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, also named Victoria, in 1841. It was worn by 62 royal babies (including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William) before it was deemed too fragile to continue using. It was hand-washed in spring water and stored in a dark room between christenings.
The new gown was designed by Queen Elizabeth’s assistant, Angela Kelly, and Buckingham Palace’s team of dressmakers in 2008.
Kelly enlisted London company Joel & Son Fabrics, which traditionally supplies cloth to the Queen and her household – and they worked with a company in Italy to create the Honiton lace lined with white satin material for her and the dressmakers to make the robe.
Kelly and one of her dressmaking colleagues, sat for hours over two or three days as the painstaking work of sketching out the designs to match the original, which was commissioned by Queen Victoria and styled after the wedding dress she wore to marry Prince Albert the year before, as closely as possible began.
“It was recreated in exactly the same way. Even though there was modern machinery, they had to go back to doing a lot of it by hand so there was a mix between by hand and machinery,” an insider previously told PEOPLE
The designers wanted to make as exact a copy as possible. “It was made from scratch, from sketching it out, to embroidering the lace on a special silk-based tulle,” said the insider.
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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.
The gathering will be attended by around 25 close family members and friends. Royal christenings are typically private, with only close family, friends and godparents in attendance.
“This is a beautiful milestone and they are excited to share it as a family first and then with the world,” says the source.