In 2019 pre-Brexit Britain, it is rare that people from across the political divide can agree on anything, aside from the cultural omnipotence of Love Island and the eternal joy of a Hobnob.

However, last weekend, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have inadvertently brought Brits of all stripes together with their decision to deny the media access to son Archie's christening and keep the public in the dark about the identity of his godparents.

A poll done by the Daily Express newspaper yesterday found 82 percent of respondents disagreed with the couple's press blackout and their seemingly arbitrary refusal to reveal which old chums have been tapped to be Archie's godparents. Newspapers that veer from the left to the right on the political spectrum have published pieces castigating Harry and Meghan for the way they have handled what should otherwise have been a heartwarming moment for the royal family.

Archie's christening should have been a golden moment for Meghan and Harry - but one
Archie's christening should have been a golden moment for Meghan and Harry - but one "ignorant" move has turned the tide for good. Photo / Instagram

What has become apparent over the last 48 hours is (while Harry's wariness of the media is understandable) the Sussexes seem blatantly ignorant of the fact their handling of their son's baptism has come across as openly hostile towards quite genuine global affection for the young family.

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After a rocky first year of royal life that featured some high highs (the Sussexes' triumphant tour of Australia and the Pacific) and some low lows (those bananas for sex workers, the gauche $500,000 New York baby shower) the way they have handled the christening marks a watershed moment for the couple. For the first time since they wed, the erosion of their public standing has become clearly evident.

Their refusal to allow a small handful of photographers and cameras to record the royal family entering and leaving the christening ceremony (as is usual) seems just plain petulant. What would have been the harm in letting the media capture shots of the royal family sedately walking into a chapel? (And if Archie's parents really wanted to protect his privacy, why reveal his face at all?)

The official christening shot has been liked more than 2.5 million times on Instagram. Photo / Instagram
The official christening shot has been liked more than 2.5 million times on Instagram. Photo / Instagram

Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan's obstinate, seemingly arbitrary choice to not name which of their friends had been lumped with godparent duties managed to antagonise not only the press but also their hitherto adoring public.

(Side note: If Meghan is so hellbent on protecting her friends from undue media attention, why take them to Wimbledon for the day thus ensuring their names and photos would appear in pretty much every mainstream media publication in the world?)

How could Harry and Meghan fail to realise that callously rebuffing what is pretty harmless fondness for Archie and themselves would elicit this sort of public anger? And that all of this would, ironically, only ramp up public interest in and media brouhaha around the event?

The Cambridges have taken a far more open approach to raising their children in the public eye. Photo / Getty Images
The Cambridges have taken a far more open approach to raising their children in the public eye. Photo / Getty Images

The biggest question yet to be answered in any satisfying way is why all this rigmarole because it certainly did nothing to offer Archie anything verging on privacy or normality. (The shots posted by Harry and Meghan from the christening currently have 2.56 million likes and counting. Very private and normal.)

Consider the Cambridges' approach to protecting their kids because Kate and Wills have much more adroitly navigated the line between fulfilling their obligations as working royals and protecting their trio of little HRHs simultaneously.

The Cambridges drastically limit the exposure their three children have to contend with, essentially restricting it to heavily controlled and rare photocalls with a small trusted cadre of media and occasionally bundling them up for state occasions such as Trooping the Colour. Reliably, we know that come their birthdays or milestones such as first days of school, there will be a new photo or two released by the family, usually taken by Kate.

William and Kate often share photos of their kids. Photo / Getty Images
William and Kate often share photos of their kids. Photo / Getty Images

And they have done all this with absolutely zero fanfare or uproar.

Nor has the Cambridge approach opened up their family to any more media interest than the Sussexes face. Warmly sharing a few photos of their kids has not been taken by the media as an invitation their lives are open slather. Paparazzi don't photograph their kids on the way to school or at the park. Long lenses aren't hanging over the back fence at Anmer Park, their 10-bedroom Norfolk pile.

Meanwhile, back in Windsor, the Sussexes' approach has managed to be both galling and baffling, which is quite the dubious achievement.

Making this christening debacle even more of a PR nightmare for Harry and Meghan is the timing. All of this is coming to pass less than two weeks (13 days to be precise) after it was revealed the British public, via the Sovereign Grant, had forked out at least $4.3 million to renovate Harry and Meghan's new home Frogmore Cottage.

The "having their cake and eating it too" lines just write themselves, sadly.

Given all of this, Meghan's choice of outfit might be raising a few eyebrows. The Duchess wore a custom Christian Dior dress, a simpler version of which retails for $4517 and Christian Dior heels, where women's pumps start at around $1038. (No word as yet where her hat came from though chances are it wasn't Zara.)

At a time when the Sussexes' "value" as members of the royal family is being questioned and scrutinised, was it really a good idea to wear an ensemble from a French couture house? (Surely it would have been politic, if she wanted to fork out vast sums of cash for a look a la Kate, that she would choose a British designer.)

Harry and Meghan have always promised to undertake royal life their own way, breaking the mould and rewriting the rules along the way. However, right now, the only rules they are encouraging others to rewrite are how the Sovereign Grant money gets handed out.