Inside Meghan Markle's secret 'intimate' baptism ceremony

Publish Date
Friday, 9 March 2018, 8:00AM
Photo / Getty

Photo / Getty

Meghan Markle has been secretly baptised ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry.

The former Suits actress was welcomed into the Anglican church in an "intimate service", which was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, using holy water from the River Jordan, which was said to have come from the Royal Family font.

Meghan is believed to have asked the Archbishop to preside over the ceremony because they have formed a close bond since she moved to the UK.

According to the newspaper, Meghan, 36, and her 33-year-old husband-to-be were joined at the service at Windsor Castle's Chapel Royal by Harry's father, Prince Charles, and stepmother Duchess Camilla, as well as a small number of other guests.

In accordance with tradition, Meghan had two sponsors, the equivalent of godparents, to support her in the baptism, with one described as a "close girlfriend".

Among those assisting with the service was the Crown Jeweller Mark Appleby, who brought the silverware used for the royal family's Christenings, including a font, basin and flask of holy oil.

The Chapel Royal choir - which is the oldest continuous musical organisation in the world and features six Gentlemen-in-Ordinary and ten Children of the Chapel - the oldest continuous musical organisation in the world - performed during the service.

After her baptism, Meghan then underwent her confirmation, meaning she can join Harry in taking Holy Communion at future church services if she wishes.

And when the evening ceremony, which took around 45 minutes, finished, 18 guests walked to Charles and Camilla's home at nearby Clarence House, where the couple hosted a dinner.

It is not thought the former actress' divorced parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle, were in attendance.

Meghan - who was previously married to Trevor Engelson - did not need to be baptised to marry Harry in church, but had made it clear after they got engaged last November that she had chosen to do so out of respect for Queen Elizabeth, who is head of the Church of England.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Meghan's former Suits co-stars will be invited to the royal wedding. 

The former actress is set to marry Prince Harry in May and though invitations have yet to be sent out, key executives and cast members from the legal drama will be on the guest list.

A source confirmed to HELLO! Online: "The cast has been contacted in regards to invites from Kensington Palace."

According to the insider, guests expected to mingle with global royalty at the wedding include Suits star Abigail Spencer, as well as Quantico actress Priyanka Chopra and tennis ace Serena Williams.

The invitation comes a week after it was revealed 2,640 members of public will be invited to the wedding at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on May 19.

The group will include 1,200 members of the public from "every corner of the United Kingdom" who will be nominated to attend by nine regional Lord Lieutenant offices.

Kensington Palace said: "The couple has asked that the people chosen are from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities."

A further 200 people will be chosen from a range of charities which Harry, 33, and 36-year-old Meghan have a close association with, including those which the flame-haired prince is a patron of.

What's more, 100 pupils from two local schools, The Royal School, Great Park, Windsor and St George's School, Windsor Castle, will be able to witness the extraordinary events unfold on the big day, as will 610 Windsor Castle community members, and 530 members of The Royal Households and Crown Estate.

Kensington Palace said in a statement: "Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have said they want their Wedding Day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too.

"This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters and values of the Bride and Groom.

"In addition to the Carriage Procession in Windsor, they have today shared some further details of how the public will be involved on May 19th.

"Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have invited 2,640 people into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the arrivals of the Bride and Groom, and their wedding guests, at the chapel and to watch the carriage procession as it departs from the castle. (sic)"

- Bang! Showbiz