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The story behind Archie’s royal christening gown

The robe is an exact copy of the one made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841.

The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte wearing the royal christening gown (Matt Dunham/PA)
The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte wearing the royal christening gown (Matt Dunham/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby son Archie is expected to be baptised in the royal christening gown.

The replica of the intricate lace and satin gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter has been used for royal infants for the last 11 years.

Archie’s cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all wore the frilly cream outfit for their christenings, as did Zara and Mike Tindall’s daughters Mia and Lena.

It was created by the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly and the team of dressmakers at Buckingham Palace, and features the same lengthy skirt and elaborate collars and bow as its predecessor.

The original Honiton lace and white satin robe, which was made in 1841, was last used in 2004, after which the Queen commissioned the handmade copy so the historic outfit, which had become too fragile to use, could be carefully preserved.

The 19th century gown was fashioned for the christening of Victoria, the Princess Royal and used for generation after generation of royal babies.

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Princess Elizabeth, now the Queen, with her parents on her christening day in 1926 (PA)

The Queen’s father King George VI, the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex all wore the elaborate dress, with Lady Louise Windsor the last royal baby to wear it in 2004.

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Princess Elizabeth, now the Queen, with baby Prince Charles wearing the original 19th century gown (PA)

The Earl and Countess of Wessex’s son Viscount Severn became the first to wear the new robe at his christening in 2008.

Baptisms are a must for Windsor babies.

The Queen is Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

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The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who usually carried out royal christenings, with the Queen (Peter Nicholls/PA)

Royal infants are often welcomed into the Christian faith within weeks of being born.

George was christened when he was three months old, while Charlotte was only nine weeks, and Louis was 11 weeks, while Archie will be exactly two months old on July 6.

Harry was baptised at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on December 21 1984 when he was three months and six days old.

George was the first future monarch in modern times not to be baptised at Buckingham Palace, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge choosing the intimate Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace instead in 2013.

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George, behind held by his father William, arriving at the Chapel Royal (John Stillwell/PA)

He was on his best behaviour, blowing bubbles beforehand and being quiet and peaceful afterwards.

Princess Charlotte was christened at the Church of St Mary Magdalene at Sandringham in Norfolk in 2015.

She was pushed to her christening past well-wishers in a vintage 1950s silver-wheeled Millson pram – once used for the Queen’s youngest children Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – and began to cry ahead of the service before being settled by the duchess.

Prince Louis’s baptism also took place at the Chapel Royal in 2018.

He was well behaved, staying sound asleep as he was carried into the chapel by Kate.

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William and Kate with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Louis’s christening at the Chapel Royal in 2018 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Charlotte was heard telling off photographers and declaring they were not allowed inside following the service.

PA

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