Though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have hoped that the identities of baby Archie’s godparents would remain a mystery, The Sun is reporting that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may be required to reveal their names due to a Church of England rule.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the redheaded royal and former Suits actress faced criticism after it emerged that they had chosen godparents for their newborn son but refused to disclose their names. It was reported that they are “old friends” but their identities are being kept secret because they are “private citizens.”
The move seemed to be a particular slight after the couple decided to keep Archie’s christening a private affair, despite recent costly house renovations at the public’s expense.
“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,” said royal reporter Penny Junor, per Vanity Fair.
“Seeing Archie and his godparents arriving at the christening is what people are interested in; it isn’t baring your baby’s soul, just giving the public who love and support them a crumb to enjoy.”
Popular godparent guesses had been Meghan’s friends Benita Litt, Jessica Mulroney, or Lindsey Roth, as well as Prince Harry’s chum Mark Dyer.
However, The Sun reports that the Church of England, of which Queen Elizabeth is head, has decreed that all christenings, including the names of godparents, are a matter of public record which can be accessed by paying a small fee of around $45.
This is not the first time public record laws revealed information on Archie. Though Harry and Meghan attempted to keep the details of his birth private, it was eventually released in accordance with the law.
The British tabloid notes, however, that it possible that Queen Elizabeth, who is his great grandmother, may change the rules for Archie by making the private chapel a Royal Peculiar. This would mean that it would be outside the jurisdiction of the diocese and that the records could remain private.
As of now, the ceremony, which is to take place at Windsor Castle, has only 25 guests expected. No media is allowed to take official pictures and the names of the guests have not been released.
The christening is currently scheduled for Saturday and will be conducted by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Though the queen is unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts, Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland will be present.