Since we caught our first glimpse of Prince Louis, the third child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on the Lindo Wing steps on 23rd April, the littlest member of the royal family hasn’t been out and about in public (understandable, really, given the fact that he’s not even two months old). While his mother Kate has made a handful of appearances during her official maternity leave, most notably at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May and at the Trooping the Colour ceremony last weekend, baby Louis has stayed at home with the family nanny, Maria Borallo (the Cambridge family has, however, released some very charming pictures of the little one with his older sister, Princess Charlotte, to coincide with her birthday).
Given the scale of these events, it’s hardly a surprise that Louis would stay behind: after all, paediatricians recommend that it’s best for little ones to avoid big crowds for the first few months. But when can we next expect to see the fifth in line to the throne? If you’re a connoisseur of royal photo opps, you’ll be pleased to learn that we won’t have to wait all that long, as the Prince’s christening will take place on Monday 9th June at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, Kensington Palace has now confirmed. The Cambridges' third child will be baptised by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who most recently presided over the vows at the royal wedding.
With regard to these newly announced timings, the Duke and Duchess are sticking to the pattern established after the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. George’s christening took place in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace on October 23rd 2013, almost exactly three months after he was born, while Charlotte was christened on 5th July 2015, two months after her birth on 2nd May. Following the same pattern, it was always likely that Louis’s christening would fall between 23rd of June and 23rd July. Indeed, early to mid July always looked like the most probable time frame: Prince William will embark upon a tour of Jordan, Israel and the Occupied Palestine Territories at the end of June, while the end of July is surely earmarked for Prince George’s birthday celebrations.
Before the christening, the Palace will most likely share further information about Prince Louis’s godparents, though we already know what the little prince will wear for the ceremony: just like his older brother and sister, he'll be dressed in the Honiton Christening robe, a replica of the baptismal gown worn by royals (including the Queen, Prince Charles and Louis's father, the Duke of Cambridge) for around 160 years.
Shortly after, it’s tradition for official christening photos to be shared with the public, showing the Cambridges and their extended family (and yes, that could mean Harry and Meghan).
Look back at royal babies through history in the gallery below...
Queen Elizabeth II
Born: 21st April 1926
When Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York was born in 1926, it was not expected that she would ever become Queen: she was third in line to the throne, only becoming heir presumptive after the abdication of her uncle.