"These are friends, private citizens, not celebrities or public figures," a royal source tells PEOPLE

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ensured that every detail for the July 6 christening of their son, Archie Harrison, was perfect — including choosing a close circle of loved ones to look after him as godparents.

The couple made headlines when they opted not to reveal the names of Archie’s godparents, a departure from precedent set by other royal parents, including Prince William and Kate Middleton.

But the decision was rooted not only in Harry and Meghan’s desire to protect the privacy of their 8-week-old son, but also the privacy of their friends and family.

“These are friends, private citizens, not celebrities or public figures,” a royal source tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “Meghan and Harry wanted to protect them from the inevitable onslaught: ‘When did you meet them? How?’ That was the driving reason [to keep them private].

“It’s a very personal thing to ask somebody to be a godparent,” the source adds.

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Credit: CHRIS ALLERTON/AFP/Getty Images

Archie’s christening itself was an ultra-private affair, from the setting (the Queen’s private chapel) to the guest list (only around 25 attendees) to the discreet arrivals.

Credit: CHRIS ALLERTON/AFP/Getty Images

“It was just very, very low-key,” says a Windsor source. “You wouldn’t have even known it was going on. It was all very well thought through.”

Credit: CHRIS ALLERTON/AFP/Getty Images

As for the couple’s decision to do things differently from past royal christenings, “this is not a couple that will conform if they don’t feel it’s right for them,” says an insider. “It’s that simple.”