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The Royal Christening Dress Worn by Baby Archie — and 5 Monarchs — Has an Interesting History Dating Back 179 Years

The Royal Christening Dress Worn by Baby Archie — and 5 Monarchs — Has an Interesting History Dating Back 179 Years

The dress was created in 1841 for Queen Victoria's first-born child and has been worn by 62 royal babies to date. The one that Archie wore is a replica that was made by the Queen's personal wardrobe advisor.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first-born, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was baptized on July 6 at the Windsor Castle with the closest family surrounding him on the special day.

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The private event was marked by multiple traditions, including the christening dress that he wore, which has a long history. 



 



 

The boy's parents wanted to keep it private so only 25 guests were invited at the low-key ceremony and two official photos were released. The christening took place in a private chapel inside the castle’s state apartments, according to Express UK. It was attended by the closest family members of Prince Harry, including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, and his two maternal aunts, as well as Meghan Markle's mother, Doria Ragland.



 

People had been waiting quite impatiently for a better view of Archie and this event was the answer to those requests. We saw more than a forehead and toes of the tiny baby after two months of his birth since the family of three wants to fiercely protects its privacy. The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. He had also conducted the christenings of Prince George in 2013, Princess Charlotte in 2015 and Prince Louis in 2018.

Many royal protocols were followed like the same christening dress that his cousins, George, Charlotte, and Louis, wore, which is a replica of the original Honiton dress. The dress was commissioned by Queen Victoria for her first-born child, daughter Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, according to Town&Country. Princess Victoria was baptized in 1841 in Buckingham Palace, which was also her parents' first wedding anniversary. Queen Victoria had also noted in her journal about the christening that "Albert & I agreed that all had gone off beautifully & in a very dignified manner."



 

The original Honiton Christening dress, which was worn by five monarchs, was inspired by Queen Victoria's wedding dress. The dress was made from white silk with a handmade lace overlay. The lace was made by Janet Sutherland, a miner's daughter from Scotland. Before the original dress was retired it was worn by 62 royal babies over 163 years, including five people heads of state, including Victoria and Albert's first son, the future Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and the Queen. It was also worn by Queen Elizabeth II's children Prince Charles, and grandkids, Prince William, and Prince Harry.



 



 

The gown was last worn in 2004 by Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Edward, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex's daughter. After that, it was decided that the dress be retired and the Queen's personal wardrobe advisor, Angela Kelly, helped make the replica.



 



 

Even though many of the traditions were followed, one that was not was announcing who the godparents are. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to keep the identity of the godparents secret, even though there has been much speculation about that. Royal children have six to seven godparents, so it was assumed that some of them will be transatlantic.



 

A minor goof-up had occurred after the photo was released by the Buckingham Palace. Princess Diana's sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, had been mixed up, according to the Express UK.

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter, wrote on Twitter: “Eek both Clarence House and Buckingham Palace named Diana’s sisters the wrong way round! Lady Jane is standing next to Doria and Lady Sarah is next to William.” 

References: 

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a22064592/british-royal-family-christening-gown-history/

https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1149654/Archie-christening-details-honiton-christening-gown-baptism-Meghan-Markle-Prince-Harry

https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1150183/royal-news-archie-harrison-royal-christening-meghan-markle-harry-royal-family-latest

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