After weeks of speculation, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have appointed Charlie van Straubenzee, a former school friend of the prince, as one of Baby Archie’s godparents, according to a report from The Sunday Times.. Van Straubenzee is a long-time friend of the Duke ever since their days at Ludgrove Prep School in Berkshire and gave a speech at the Sussexes’ wedding, the report says. He didn’t appear in any of the photos released to the public. At the time of this report, the Palace has yet to respond to the claim from The Sunday Times.
The news comes after Buckingham Palace confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have decided to keep the identity of their newborn’s godparent a secret. That’s not the only thing the couple was planning on keeping private. Besides sharing the date and location of the christening—July 6, 2019 in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle—the pair had no intention of sharing additional details about the event. The decision to keep the actual ceremony private isn’t too unusual, but in the past, most members of the Royal Family have allowed photographers to capture images of guests entering and exiting the ceremony. The pair declined to partake in this prior to the event, and agreed to share selected images taken by photographer Chris Allerton, according to Insider.com.
The Sussexes’ decision to keep the names of their child’s godparents private was met with some kickback. Last week, royal correspondent Richard Palmer claimed the pair was “in breach of a legal requirement to make the names of Archie’s godparents available to the public.” A spokesperson for the Church of England tells the Daily Express that “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.”
Given the close connection between Van Straubenzee and Prince Harry, he wouldn’t be a surprising choice for a godparent. The Sussexes attended his wedding to Daisy Jenks in 2018, and there were also rumors that Prince Harry was the best man. In fact, van Straubenzee’s brother Thomas was named the godparent to Prince William's daughter, Princess Charlotte, the royal family's official website states.
Fans have been speculating about the identity of Baby Archie’s godparents since the moment he was born. At one point in time, George Clooney, Serena Williams and Priyanka Chopra were all rumored to be frontrunners for the coveted title. Back in May, Clooney slashed any and all speculation that he’d become the godfather, joking “it’s not true. You don’t want me to be a godparent of anybody.”
The parents’ attempt to keep private as many details as possible about the infant’s christening shouldn’t come as too much of a shock for fans. When Markle gave birth, she opted for more privacy than many previous Royals, skipping the royal tradition of posing on the hospital steps. The family waited two days after Archie was born to make their first public appearance together.