PRINCE Harry and Meghan were last night urged to lift the secrecy imposed on today’s christening of their baby son Archie.
The royal couple have been accused of acting like “Hollywood A-listers” by refusing to make the Windsor Castle ceremony public. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have decreed that no media will be allowed to witness the event and even the names of godparents will be withheld. The only pictures to be released will be ones chosen by the couple themselves and made available after the event.
Critics said that Harry, 34, and US-born former actress Meghan, 37, who have been heavily criticised for spending £2.4million of public money renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor, are snubbing well-wishers.
A Daily Express online poll found that 82 percent disagreed with their decision to keep the ceremony private.
Publicity expert Mark Borkowski warned of a backlash, saying: “This is what you’d expect a Hollywood A-lister to do – purposefully to be antagonist to the traditional system and not engaging with media in any shape or form.
“If you have been given £2.4million by the public to do up your cottage, then you have got to keep the public onside. They are making no friends.”
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said Harry and Meghan had “misinterpreted the whole situation” and “really upset the people who love them the most”.
She added: “The secrecy and evasiveness of the whole situation has been so mismanaged. It’s a real shame. When Harry spoke about his newborn son in the hours after his birth he was jumping for joy so it’s utterly bemusing as to why he and Meghan have taken this line.”
Archie days after his birth on May 6 (Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, now two months old, will be baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in the private chapel at Windsor Castle.
The Queen will not be at the ceremony because of a diary clash and only 25 close family and friends will attend, it is understood.
They will include Harry’s brother Prince William and his wife Kate, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.
Harry’s cousins Beatrice and Eugenie are on the guest list, together with Zara Tindall and her former rugby star husband Mike.
Royal watchers speculate that the godparents could include Meghan’s best friend, Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney, and Harry’s friends Tom Inskip, Guy Pelly, Nicholas van Cutsem.
The Sussexs have chosen Chris Allerton, who took photographs at their fairytale wedding last year, to record the christening, with some images being released afterwards. But the couple have refused to allow access to the media to record details, photographs and film of the event for their millions of well-wishers.
Sources said the Sussexes believe Archie is entitled to extended privacy because as seventh-in-line to the throne he is unlikely ever to become a full-time royal.
It is also thought that the godparents are not being officially named because they are private individuals rather than public figures.
Under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978 the names of godparents are usually publicly listed.
But a spokesman for the Church of England said: “The register to be used in this case is held privately by the royal household on behalf of the Crown.”
The snap Daily Express survey on Express.co.uk asked: “Are Meghan and Harry right to keep Archie’s christening private?” Of 3,158 readers who responded, 2,566 – 82 percent – thought it was wrong for the couple to keep details secret.
One reader said: “The British people have loved Prince Harry since the day of his birth. What a way to pay them back.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK