Royal well-wishers will not get to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby son Archie get christened next weekend because they have insisted on a private service, a newspaper report has claimed.
According to The Sunday Times, Harry and Meghan have resolved to ensure the newborn will be a "private citizen" - and his baptism will apparently not be treated as a media event.
Royal journalist Penny Junor - whose biography of Harry was published in 2014 - is quoted as telling the newspaper that the couple’s decision ‘not to play the game’ is an error.
She said: "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.
"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."
Suggesting the Sussexes should have the christening in a parish church rather than St George’s Chapel in Windsor - where royal ceremonies are held, including Harry and Meghan’s wedding and the site of Harry’s own baptism - if they wish to remain private, Ms Junor also added the couple would be well advised to change their approach following recent criticism of their spending.
Either they are totally private, pay for their own house and disappear out of view or play the game the way it is played.
They came under fire earlier this week after it was revealed that £2.4 million of public money was spent on renovations for their Frogmore Cottage home.
Ms Junor said: "Many people don't understand why they are paying nearly £3m for Harry and Meghan's house, so in terms of public relations it would be a good quid pro quo for the pair to briefly show Archie off."
Several commenters on Twitter echoed Ms Junor's reported remarks.
"Please explain why the public are paying for the Sussexes to continue dictating a private life at our expense? If they want a private life we shouldn't be paying for them," tweeted one observer.
"Harry can certainly have a private life. He can get a job and stop living off taxpayers," added another.
A third said: "Lol! I thought they wanted a public spectacle with the christening? All this 'we want privacy but happy to be funded by taxpayers' is doing my head in!"
However, one fan did stick up for Sussexes, tweeting: "Give them a break - no royal babies are christened in public."
Another wrote: "Ok I’m not genius but to my understanding all of the christenings of the royal family in the past decade were private.
"So why now is there a problem and information being used negatively towards Meghan and Harry? The only footage we see is them going into the church and coming out, nothing else, so ALL the christenings are private."
Although Prince Charles and Camilla and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to attend the service, it is believed the Queen will not be there. She is reported to have prior commitments.
She also missed out on Prince Louis’ christening last year, although she did make it to the baptisms of great-grandkids Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
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