WHEN baby Archie was born, the Duchess of Sussex refused to stand outside the hospital and parade her first-born around mere hours after giving birth.

Not an unreasonable demand, many thought, as the baby boy was formally introduced to the world a few days later.

But the couple’s decision to keep the doors of Windsor Castle’s chapel shut for Archie’s christening today has not elicited the same goodwill.

While royals and celebrity friends are expected to be there – although the couple are keeping the official invitation list close to their chests, too – media will not be among those present. Expected guests include Prince Harry’s brother Prince William and wife Kate, and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.

Archie’s grandfather Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will also attend, though it is understood the Queen will not because she has a “prior engagement”.

Royal fans will not only be unable to see any elements of the ceremony but will also be left in the dark as to the identity of the child’s godparents, whom the Duke and Duchess have chosen to keep private (it turns out, the royals can legally keep that information under wraps).

But secrecy doesn’t stop speculation, with the rumour mill rife with suggestion that the Duchess’s best friend, stylist Jessica Mulroney, will be chosen while Harry’s old schoolmates, brothers Thomas and Charlie van Straubenzee, are also expected to be picked.

Tennis star Serena Williams ruled herself out earlier this week after the Duchess watched her play at Wimbledon, saying she will be working during the christening.

But there has been mounting criticism of the decision not to reveal the identity of Archie’s godparents.

“The revolt is growing ...Wanting to differentiate at all costs, Meghan and Harry begin to annoy,” Le Point’s royal correspondent wrote.

Public relations expert Mark Borkowski said their decision to maintain privacy echoes the public relations strategy of a Hollywood A-lister.

“This is what you would expect a Hollywood A-lister to do, purposefully be sort of antagonist to the traditional system and not engaging with media in any shape or form,” he said.

“And this is certainly a declaration they will go to any lengths to protect their privacy and not engage with publicity.”

He added any “insight” into their lives would be denied because “when there comes a moment when there is an issue, of maybe invasion of privacy, they have a very firm defence about their non-engagement with the media, in all shapes and forms, about their private life. And something as gentle as announcing a godparent, they are down on it immediately.”

The veil of privacy over Archie has sparked backlash from some royalists, with broadcaster Piers Morgan accusing the couple of “playing games” with the public.

“The godparents will not be announced. Why not?” he wrote on social media. “Harry and Meghan need to stop playing these dumb cake-and-eat-it games with the media/public.

“If you want your home costs paid by the taxpayer, you reveal this kind of info. That’s the deal.”

Royal biographer Penny Junor agreed, saying the couple’s decision is a “mistake”.

“We’re not asking for Archie to become public property but to be able to share in the pleasure of his christening. I think it is only fair to give the public that pleasure,” she said.

“Because although Archie himself is not going to be a working member of the Royal Family, so far as we can tell he’s going to be brought up as a normal child, that’s fine, but Harry is very much a part of the Royal Family as we’ve known it over the years.”

But, even before his birth, parents Harry and Meghan had set themselves apart from the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Harry and Meghan’s courtship, her pregnancy and Archie’s birth were all kept under wraps, while William and Kate elected to allow their relationship blossom in the public eye.

While fans of the royals can dote on the many pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, those looking for little Archie have had to make do with several arty pictures posted to the couple’s Instagram feed.

Dainty snaps of the baby’s feet and tiny hands have been broadcast to the couple’s 8.8 million followers, as well as a number of images taken by fashion photographer Chris Allerton.

But, despite his parents’ track record of snubbing tradition, Archie’s ceremony will follow a similar format to that of the previous 62 royal babies. He will wear a white lace gown, worn by each of his cousins, while he is baptised in the intimate chapel.

The clothing, a replica of the Honiton lace christening gown, was commissioned by Queen Victoria for the baptism of her first child in 1841.

The original gown was worn by a number of royals, including George V, Edward VIII, George VI and the Queen, as well as Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry.

With TV cameras and reporters not allowed to picture guests entering or leaving the chapel, the Sussexes have instead turned to trusted photographer Chris Allerton to capture the moment.

But, according to Le Point, royalists know exactly what they want: “No question of a loose foot or a piece of face hidden by a hand ...They want a family portrait in the purest tradition, with lace dress and a good view of the baby’s face.”