Harry, Meghan hold private christening for baby Archie

VIDEO: REUTERS
The official Christening photo featuring Harry and Meghan holding son Archie, flanked by (from left) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Ms Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Prince William, Duke of
The official Christening photo featuring Harry and Meghan holding son Archie, flanked by (from left) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Ms Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.PHOTO: AFP
Meghan, Harry and baby Archie in the official photograph released for Archie's christening.
Meghan, Harry and baby Archie in the official photograph released for Archie's christening.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (DPA) - Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, held a private christening for their infant son Archie on Saturday (July 6), releasing a statement and two photographs after the event.

"This morning, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was christened in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle at an intimate service officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby," Harry and Meghan said on their official Instagram account.

The couple posted a group portrait of them with guests including Harry's elder brother, Prince William, and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in a drawing room at the castle, which is one of Queen Elizabeth II's official residences near London.

Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, and Harry and William's father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were also in the colour photograph.

Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes - the two older sisters of Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana - were also shown in the family portrait.

The 93-year-old Queen was absent, as expected, after reports that she had a prior engagement.

The royal family published a second, black-and-white portrait of Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, holding Archie, who was born on May 6, outdoors in the Rose Garden at Windsor Castle.

This morning, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was christened in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle at an intimate service officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are so happy to share the joy of this day with members of the public who have been incredibly supportive since the birth of their son. They thank you for your kindness in welcoming their first born and celebrating this special moment. Their Royal Highnesses feel fortunate to have enjoyed this day with family and the godparents of Archie. Their son, Archie, was baptised wearing the handmade replica of the royal christening gown which has been worn by royal infants for the last 11 years. The original Royal Christening Robe, made of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1841 and first worn by her eldest daughter. It was subsequently worn for generations of Royal christenings, including The Queen, her children and her grandchildren until 2004, when The Queen commissioned this handmade replica, in order for the fragile historic outfit to be preserved, and for the tradition to continue. Photo credit: Chris Allerton ©️SussexRoyal

Harry and Meghan's Instagram post said they were "happy to share the joy of this day with members of the public who have been incredibly supportive since the birth of their son."

"They thank you for your kindness in welcoming their first born and celebrating this special moment," it said, adding that Harry and Meghan "feel fortunate to have enjoyed this day with family and the godparents of Archie."

Buckingham Palace said earlier that official pictures of the event would be taken by fashion photographer Chris Allerton.

"The godparents, in keeping with their wishes, will remain private," the palace added.

Scores of royal fans and tourists lined a main road in Windsor town outside the castle ahead of the ceremony, some holding British or US flags and banners with messages congratulating Harry and Meghan.

Tours of the castle took place as usual on Saturday, the BBC reported from the town.

It said about 25 guests attended the christening in the small royal chapel.

Archie is seventh in line to the throne.

He wore a replica of a 19th century lace and satin gown made for the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, which had been used by generations of royal children, the Sussexes' Instagram post said.

The replica gown, made by the Queen's dressmaker Angela Kelly in 2004 when the original became too fragile to wear, was also worn by William and Kate's children - Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis - at their christenings.