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The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Announce Prince Louis' Godparents

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced Prince Louis’ six godparents ahead of his christening at St James’s Palace this afternoon. As with their two older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the couple have chosen a selection of close friends and family members for the honour.

In an announcement released this morning, Kensington Palace confirmed that Nicholas van Cutsem, Guy Pelly, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, Lady Laura Meade, Mrs Robert Carter (née Hannah Gillingham) and Miss Lucy Middleton have been asked to become the Prince’s godparents.

Nicholas van Cutsem is a close friend of the Cambridges and Prince Harry; his daughter, Florence, was a bridesmaid at the royal wedding in May, while his niece, Grace, famously stole the show with her antics on the Buckingham Palace balcony after William and Kate’s 2011 wedding. His brother, William, is already godfather to Prince George. Nightclub founder Guy Pelly is another mainstay of the royal inner circle, and is thought to have recently been tasked with organising Prince Harry’s stag do.

Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Lady Laura Meade are both long-time friends of the couple. Lady Laura was recently photographed attending the Maserati polo with Kate and her children; her husband, James Meade, is godfather to Princess Charlotte. Hannah Gillingham is an old friend of the Duchess from her school days, while Lucy Middleton is Kate’s cousin.

Prince Louis’ christening is set to take place this afternoon at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, London. Per the official announcement, the ceremony is set to be attended by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Michael and Carole Middleton, Pippa and James Matthews and James Middleton, along with the godparents and their spouses. It appears that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be missing the service.

In accordance with royal custom, the Prince will wear a replica of the traditional Honiton christening gown, just like his older siblings. It’s royal tradition, too, for water from the River Jordan to be used from the ceremonial Lily Font during the baptism, which will be carried out by Archbishop Justin Welby. After the service, the Duke and Duchess will host a private tea at Clarence House, where guests will be served special ‘christening’ cake, preserved from the couple’s 2011 wedding cake.

Look back at royal christenings through history in the gallery below...

Why weren’t Harry and Meghan chosen as Prince Louis’s godparents?

The odds were always low that Harry and Meghan would receive this particular title. Harry was not chosen to be godfather for Prince George or Princess Charlotte, after all (and, similarly, neither Pippa nor James Middleton have been asked to act as godparents to date). As a proud uncle already, it seems that William and Kate quite sensibly have chosen not to needlessly formalise that relationship, and instead open out the honour to their long-time friends. ‘With George and Charlotte, [William and Kate] chose close and trusted friends and aides, rather than immediate family members, and the odds suggest that will be the same with little Prince Louis,’ Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said ahead of the official announcement. Other rumoured contenders who didn’t make the cut this time included former royal nanny Tiggy Pettifer, William’s step-sister Laura Lopes and his outgoing private secretary Miguel Head.

Who are Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s godparents?

It’s tradition for the royal children to have a clutch of godparents, a mixture of relatives and close family friends. Princess Charlotte has five in total: William’s cousin Laura Fellowes, Kate’s cousin Adam Middleton, and friends Sophie Carter, James Meade and Thomas van Straubenzee. Prince George, meanwhile, has a grand total of seven (Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Earl Grosvenor, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Julia Samuel, William van Cutsem and Zara Tindall.