Saturday is a very special day for the royal family, since they are set to gather at Windsor Castle's private chapel for the christening of baby Archie Harrison. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have chosen to keep the service a very private affair, opting to have their baby son Archie christened in the small but beautiful place of worship – which in fact has a dramatic history. The chapel had to be entirely restored after the devastating fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, and was completely relocated within the building.
An artist's impression of the restored Private Chapel at Windsor Castle
Now with a stunning blue vaulted ceiling and white walls, the tiny chapel sits in the inner sanctum of the Queen's Windsor home. Among its new features are six stained glass windows designed by Archie's great-grandfather Prince Philip – which will no doubt make the spot extra special for Harry and Meghan. The Duke of Edinburgh came up with the inspiration for the windows – which depict a firefighter battling the flames and a workman salvaging a portrait – during the mass restoration of the ancient castle.
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The fire, which broke out on the Queen and Philip's 45th wedding anniversary on November 20 1992, started in the original 19th century private chapel when a workman's spotlight accidentally set a curtain alight. More than 200 firefighters tackled the flames, while staff rushed to remove precious works of art from the path of the fire – forming a human chain which included the Duke of York, who was in the castle at the time.
The former chapel now serves as a grand entrance for state dinners
The original gothic chapel, which was added by Queen Victoria, was irreparably damaged in the incident. It was later redesigned and relocated from the end of St George's Hall to the more practical position within the area of the old Holbein Room. The new chapel has room for just 30 people, with short rows of red-backed chairs, and is rectangular in shape, rather than the irregular shape of the original.
It's thought that the Queen and Prince Philip will not attend the christening
Other beautiful features include a new vestry, arched balconies with choir and organ lofts and carved wooden doors, matching the ceiling decoration. Its wooden altar was crafted by the Queen's nephew, Viscount Linley, now the Earl of Snowdon. Baby Archie will follow the Earl and Countess of Wessex's daughter Lady Louise Windsor in being christened in the private chapel. Saturday's service will be a low-key affair, but the couple are expected to release some official pictures afterwards. It's thought that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will not attend, though it has been confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be there.
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