The Real Reason Royal Watchers Are Angry Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Had a Private Christening For Archie

The christening for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s son, Archie Harrison, has come and gone but not without controversy.

On July 6, 2019, the newest member of the royal family was baptized during an intimate ceremony with just some close family and friends but the couple’s decision for a private affair angered a number of people. Fans, royals experts, and politicians have all weighed in with the same reason why they aren’t happy about the duke and duchess’ choice and it has nothing to do with not knowing if George Clooney and Serena Williams are Archie’s godparents.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Archie
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Archie | DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Here’s the real reason why the royal couple is drawing criticism.

Private affair, godparents won’t be revealed

It was announced a few days before Archie’s christening that the event would be a private one.

“Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened in a small private ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday 6th July,” a statement from Buckingham Palace confirmed. It added that the couple’s photographer would be on hand and some photos would be shared once the ceremony had concluded.

Moreover, the statement noted that the identity of Archie’s godparents won’t be revealed.

“The godparents, in keeping with their wishes, will remain private,” the statement read.

Reason royal watchers are so angry

Markle and Harry’s choice to announce that the public won’t see Archie on his big day didn’t sit well with everyone, especially after last month’s report that they spent $3 million in taxpayer dollars to renovate their Frogmore Cottage residence.

Fans expressed their displeasure with the decision via social media but they’re not the only ones to publicly complain about it.

“Meghan can’t demand privacy for baby Archie while asking the public to fund her family’s lifestyle,” the Daily Telegraph wrote. 

Royal biographer Penny Junor agreed, adding, “They can’t have it both ways. Either they are totally private, pay for their own house and disappear out of view, or play the game the way it is played.”

And Labour Member of Parliament Luke Pollard told CNN, “When you’re still taking millions of pounds worth of public money — money that could be spent in schools and hospitals — to upgrade and refurbish what is, you know, luxury palaces, you’ve got to ask yourself: what are the public getting in return?”

Pollard continued, “I don’t think the overall family will be overthrown here. I think this is a chance to look at: Is the behavior of the royal family the right way forward? And at a time when there’s not a lot of money for our public services, is every penny they’re spending being spent well?”

The royal family has had private baptisms but …

To be fair, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not the only royals to have had a private baptism for their little one.

Prince Louis' christening
Prince Louis’ christening | Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

“The British royals have largely had private baptisms for centuries prior to the advent of photography, a court correspondent would write a visual report of the baptism for The Times and other British papers,” Royal Musing founder Marlene Koenig told BAZAAR.com.

In more modern times like with the christenings for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children, they were not open to the public either. However, photographers were invited to take pictures of the family and their guests leaving and arriving.

Koenig continued, “We were spoiled with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s decision to baptize their children where there is public access, or at least, allow the press to photograph arrivals and departures. But this is not the norm.”

Another difference with past royal christenings as opposed to Archie’s is that for those we did know who the child’s godparents were.

Read more: Revealed: Which Royal Family Member Cost Taxpayers the Most?