The Duchess wore Stella McCartney for today’s christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
In the first row above: the Duchess of Cornwall; the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Archie; the Duchess of Cambridge. In the back row, the Prince of Wales; Meghan’s mother, Ms. Doria Ragland; Diana’s sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale; the Duke of Cambridge. It was lovely seeing the tribute to Diana with the inclusion of her sisters. Today’s photos were taken in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, the same room used for Meghan and Harry’s wedding photos.
The ceremony was in the Queen’s Private Chapel, located in the state apartments at Windsor Castle. The Chapel was destroyed by the 1992 fire at Windsor Castle but rebuilt in 1994; it seats about 30 people. Below, an 1848 watercolor by Joseph Nash of the Chapel before the fire.
Below, the chapel following its rebuilding in a photo by TMJ Interiors, the company appointed by Higgs and Hill to do the specialist joinery work in the chapel.
UPDATE: With thanks to Raman for her comment linking to a Daily Mail story on the chapel, it apparently seats only 12 – 15 people, not 30 as I said above. The christening was officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who also presided at Meghan and Harry’s wedding.
There was also a beautiful photo taken in the rose garden that was released today.
The photos were posted on the Sussex Royal Instagram page. A statement said, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex 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.”
Meghan was elegant in bespoke Dior, and both parents looked proud of their little boy.
Archie wore the traditional replica of the Honiton Lace christening gown worn by Queen Victoria’s daughter in 1841.
Details on the original gown from British Vogue:
The white Spitalfields silk-satin gown, which has cap sleeves and a Honiton cotton lace overlay, was created to resemble the dress that Queen Victoria wore for her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840.
The garment has been worn by every monarch since Edward VII – and was also worn by Prince William and his father Prince Charles.
Below, Prince William in the original gown for his 1982 christening.
The original satin and lace gown became increasingly fragile over the years and Angela Kelly, the Queen’s dressmaker, was asked to create a replica. The last royal to wear the original gown is Lady Louise Windsor in 2003, Edward and Sophie’s daughter. The first to wear the replica was Lady Louise’s brother, James, Viscount Severn, when he was christened in 2008. Below, all three Cambridge children in the replica gown (l to r): Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Today’s photos are by Chris Allerton who shot the candid photos at Meghan and Harry’s wedding. Mr. Allerton also took the historic photograph of the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Doria Ragland, and Harry and Meghan with Archie.
In a statement he said, “I am honoured to take the official photographs at the christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and to once again, be part of such a special and joyous occasion for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
Now for our look at what Kate wore.
The Duchess was in Stella McCartney; I believe it is the same frock worn to the Queen’s Christmas luncheon last year.
At the time of the Christmas post, many thought it was the same dress worn in June 2011 for Prince Philip’s 90th birthday celebration. In the post I wrote, “It looks to me like the fabric in the photos from today is more matte, without the sheen you see with the McCartney dress.” I still feel the same way and think Christmas 2018 was the first time we saw Kate in the dress. (Jane has the 2011 photos in this From Berkshire to Buckingham post.) The dress shown below left looks like that worn in 2011, but not to last year’s luncheon or today.
UPDATE Sunday, July 7: In these photos of Kate’s dress from the christening and product shots of the June 2011 dress you can see the difference in the two fabrics.
The fabric weights are different, and the two drape differently. The Christmas luncheon/christening dress fabric looks crisper and holds itself better without the slump or sag seen in the product photos.
Because I do think it is the same dress done by Stella McCartney for Kate in a different material, these eBay photos of the June 2011 dress offer a look at the dress details.
The Duchess wore a hatband that is a modified version of the Juliette Botterill Pleated Pillbox Hat (£450, about $570 at today’s exchange rates, but that is for the hat shown on the model, not Kate’s style). It is described as a “Straw pillbox with silk abaca pleated detail edging.”
It looks like Kate may have brought back the red suede Gianvito Rossi pumps first seen at Order of the Garter in 2013.
The Duchess also wore the Collingwood pearl and diamond drop earrings that belong to Diana, Princess of Wales. We show them as worn on Garter Day. UPDATE: As noted by several commenters, these are the same earrings worn by Diana for Harry’s christening, such a nice touch.
HM is still in Scotland following Holyrood Week. Below you see her at Gorgie City Farm on Thursday, and at a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Wednesday. While she attended George and Charlotte’s christenings but was not at Prince Louis’s.
The star of the show, Archie, was just precious. The color coordination among the women looked lovely, especially in the shades worn by Doria Ragland, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and Kate. If I can find out more about the ensembles worn by any of the other women in the photos, I will update the post.