Serena Williams explains why she won't be attending baby Archie's christening

Despite her close friendship with the Duchess of Sussex, tennis great Serena Williams won't see Meghan Markle's son at his christening this weekend.
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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be surrounded by family and his parents' closest friends during his christening Saturday, but one famous family friend won't be able to make it to the young royal's special occasion.

That's because Serena Williams, who's a longtime pal of Archie's mom, the former Meghan Markle, has a big day of her own planned.

When Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, celebrate their 2-month-old's christening at Queen Elizabeth's private chapel in Windsor Castle this weekend, Williams will be busy on the grass courts of Wimbledon.

During a Thursday press conference, a reporter asked the tennis star, "Has Meghan asked you to be godmother on Saturday, and are you going?"

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The two-part question got a one-part response.

"No, I’m working Saturday, but yeah, (Meghan) understands work," she said.

That certainly answers whether or not she'll attend the event, but it still leaves the possibility that she could be named a godparent in absentia.

However, even if she is, we may never know.

According to a statement released on behalf of the royals on Wednesday, "The godparents, in keeping with their wishes, will remain private."

That marks a twist from tradition, which usually sees the list of godparents made public just before a royal christening takes place, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did ahead of Prince Louis' christening last summer.

For the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, it's just another break from typical royal custom as they help their son lead a more private life.

The Duchess of Sussex watches Serena Williams play against Slovakia's Kaja Juvan during their women's singles second round match at Wimbledon on July 4, 2019. GLYN KIRK / AFP/Getty Images

But even though Williams won't be joining her pal — and those mystery godparents — on Archie's big day, that doesn't mean she won't see Meghan at all.

In fact, she already has — in the stands.

The American member of the British royal family went to Wimbledon to see the iconic tennis champ play on the July 4.

The former Meghan Markle cheers on pal Serena Williams during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.Karwai Tang / Getty Images

"Yes, I knew she was there," Williams told reporters. "It's always exciting to know that she's come out to watch and support the tennis. I was happy."