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Meghan Markle secretly baptised ahead of marriage to Prince Harry

Markle was welcomed into the Anglican church in an 'intimate service', which was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

FILE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Picture: @KensingtonRoyal/Twitter

LONDON - Meghan Markle was secretly baptised in an intimate ceremony on Tuesday 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.

Markle 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 Daily Mail newspaper, Markle, 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, Markle 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 - performed during the service.

After her baptism, Markle 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 believed that the former actress' divorced parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle, were in attendance.

Markle - 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.

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