Modernity meets tradition | Daily News
Prince Harry and Meghan show first official pictures of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s christening

Modernity meets tradition

 Seated (left to right): The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, The Duchess of Sussex, The Duchess of Cambridge Standing (left to right): The Prince of Wales, Ms Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, The Duke of Cambridge

Seated (left to right): The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, The Duchess of Sussex, The Duchess of Cambridge Standing (left to right): The Prince of Wales, Ms Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, The Duke of Cambridge 

It was, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said, a “special moment”, as their firstborn son was christened in the bosom of his loving family.

As he showed his wide-awake face to the world for the first time, it seemed only right that Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s first formal photograph honoured not just those he will grow up with, but also the beloved grandmother he will never know.

The presence of Diana, Princess of Wales, was unmistakable, with her two sisters placed at the heart of a traditional photograph arranged around the same suite of green chairs used in 1984 for pictures of Prince Harry and his mother.

The image was one of two issued by Buckingham Palace after Archie’s private christening, the more formal of a pair which neatly encapsulated the Sussexes intention to blend duty and modernity. The second, a black and white shot worthy of a fashion magazine, showed the Duke and Duchess cradling their two-month-old son between them, gazing adoringly over his head as he sleeps.

The first colour photograph of Archie since he was two days old appears to show him taking after his father, with wisps of reddish fair hair just visible. Staring to the right of photographer Chris Allerton, the seventh-in-line to the throne is wide awake and attentive as he wears a replica of the christening gown worn by members of the Royal Family since the days of Queen Victoria.

Archie, nestled on his mother’s lap with his casually-dressed father next to them, is surrounded by members of the Royal Family: the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Doria Ragland, the Duchess’ mother, was the sole representative of Archie’s maternal line, with the estranged Thomas Markle missing once again.

In the middle of the picture, behind the chairs of Windsor Castle’s Green Drawing Room, are Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale: two of the three siblings of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Lady Jane was one of the first visitors to see baby Archie as a newborn, and it is understood that their presence in the official photograph underlines the Duke’s determination to bring his son up surrounded by the memory and values of his mother.

Tiggy Pettifer, Prince Harry’s beloved nanny then known in her maiden name of Tiggy Legge-Bourke, was seen being driven into the castle as a guest at Archie’s christening.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were missing from both the photograph and the christening, instead spending the weekend in Sandringham for long-held hosting duties.

Observant royal-watchers immediately noticed the thread of continuity from Prince Harry’s own christening, when the wider Royal Family joined the playful baby on the same chairs for a photoshoot in which a mischievous Prince William stole the show crawling on the ground.

A spokesman for the couple said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to share the happiness of this day, and would like to thank everyone around the world for their ongoing support.”They feel so fortunate to have enjoyed this special moment with family and Archie’s godparents.”

Writing in an Instagram caption, as the couple shared the photographs with their 8.8m followers, an aide added: “The Duke and Duchess 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.” Among admirers of the photographs were Hollywood actress and wellness entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, who commented: “What a beautiful picture.”

After a tumultuous week in which the Duke and Duchess were criticised for shutting the public out of simple factual details surrounding the christening, the palace declined to confirm the names of Archie’s godparents after the service.

The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted what was described as an “intimate” service, using water from the River Jordan and the historic Lily Font.

Archie wore the handmade replica of the fine Honiton lace gown, originally commissioned by Queen Victoria for her first child and worn by every senior member of the Royal Family including Prince Harry.

telegraph 


 

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