Prince Harry ’leading the charge’

Prince Harry is understood to be the driving force in keeping baby Archie’s godparents’ names hush-hush. Courtesy: AFP

Royal baby Archie will be christened in Windsor Castle today — with dad Harry the driving force in keeping the godparents’ names hush-hush.

The Church of England confirmed yesterday that taxpayer-funded Harry and Meghan will file the birth in a secret royal register, The Sun reports.

It comes after it was revealed the Queen would not be attending the christening of her great-grandson tomorrow after a major royal diary clash.

Bookies have slashed the odds on Guy Pelly and Jessica Mulroney becoming baby Archie’s godparents at his lavish christening.

Two university pals of Meghan — Lindsay Roth and Genevieve Hillis — with her at Wimbledon this week, are also in the frame.

But despite footing the £2.4 million ($A4.3 million) bill for Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage renovation, British taxpayers may never learn who the godparents are.

Their names normally are publicly registered. But The Sun understands Harry wants all details kept private.

A source close to the couple said: “People might think Meghan responsible for this whole privacy thing but it is Harry leading the charge. He wants Archie to be a private citizen in every way possible.”

Graham Smith, of anti-monarchy group Republic, said the secrecy move was an example of Harry and Meghan “bending the law to their wishes rather than having it applied equally”.

He added: “If they keep spending our millions and don’t play the game they are going to find themselves less popular than they have ever been.”

PR expert Mark Borkowski added: “This is what you’d expect a Hollywood A-lister to do — be antagonist to the traditional system and not engaging with media in any way.

“It is certainly a declaration that they’ll go to any lengths to protect their privacy.”

The Sun reports Harry and Meghan moved the date of their son’s baptism at Windsor Castle from Friday to Saturday after realising the Queen and Prince Charles both had engagements.

But the Daily Mail reports Her Majesty was booked to spend the weekend with Prince Philip at Sandringham and was forced to decline the invitation.

The Queen also missed Prince Louis’s baptism last year.

The paper reports some Buckingham Palace staff felt the Queen’s absence was a result of poor planning by Harry and Meghan.

The source said: “There is huge support for the couple in not wanting to conform to tradition.

“They are young, they are striking out on a different path from other members of the Royal Family and there is enormous goodwill for them. But they shouldn’t do that without regard for tradition.

Her Majesty was already scheduled to be in Scotland for her annual Holyrood Week and had a prior engagement at the weekend.

“There is a feeling among some that they should have been more accommodating about the date.”

SERVICE WILL BE HELD IN PRIVATE

Harry and Meghan have sparked controversy by choosing to keep the ceremony private and withhold the names of Archie’s godparents.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will christen the royal baby at the Private Chapel in Windsor Castle.

The couple have asked photographer Chris Allerton to take pictures.

A statement released by Buckingham Palace said: “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 6 July.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look forward to sharing some images taken on the day by photographer Chris Allerton.

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

The couple have previously stated they are determined to keep their son a “private citizen”.

This is an edited version comprising of stories that originally appeared on The Sun. You can find them here and here.

Source: https://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/the-queen-too-busy-to-attend-archies-christening-after-meghan-and-harry-rearranged-date/news-story/edfe3e0594075579dafc31a2240e8aba