The Sussexes

The law may prevent Archie Harrison from having a private christening

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened in a small private ceremony on Saturday 6th July.

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

At the wishes of the parents, the event will be a thoroughly private affair. Details of guests attending the service, as well as who the godparents shall be, will not be disclosed.

However, this decision has opened up Pandora’s box, with questions being asked as to whether The Royal Family can keep details of Archie’s godparents secret as it may contravene the law.

According to research undertaken by Royal Correspondent Richard Palmer, The Royal Family will be in “breach of a legal requirement” if they do not make the names of Archie’s godparents public.

This is because of a Church of England rule which states that the details of all christenings, including the names of all the godparents, are a matter of public record and therefore have to be published.

Details of christenings are available for inspection on request, subject to a £30 fee.

The had been suggestions that private chapels, just like the one Archie will be christened in, are not covered by the Church of England requirement. However, this is not the case.

The Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978 is another piece of legislation which requires information to be released, including the occupations of parents and the officiating minister.

A spokesperson for the Church of England said: “Under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978 all baptisms must be registered and the record made is normally publicly available for searches and for the making of certified copies of entries.

“However the register to be used in this case is held privately by the royal household on behalf of the Crown, and we understand that it has never complied with the usual requirement.”

Measures by the Church of England are laws treated with the same force and effect as Acts of Parliament.

Despite this, The Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and has the power to force an exception to the law for Archie’s christening.

Her Majesty could make the private chapel a Royal Peculiar. This means it would be exempt from the jurisdiction of the diocese which would enable details of the christening to remain private.