Prince Louis will be christened today at the Chapel Royal, St. James’ Palace in London. The young Prince will be christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury.
The christening service will start at 16:00hrs GMT. It will approximately last 45 minutes. The christening service itself is private. However, the arrivals and departures can be filmed and photographed by a select group of photographers.
In attendance, next to the Cambridge family, will be close family and the godparents (with their spouses). This will include the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Middleton Family. Notably, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be absent. According to reporters, the decision was not made on health grounds, and it is understood to have been mutually agreed by the Queen and the Cambridges some time ago.
Prince Louis will wear the handmade replica of the Royal Christening Robe, made by Angela Kelly, Dressmaker to The Queen. The original Royal Christening Robe was replaced by this replica in the early 2000s because the original (made in 1841 and worn by all Royal babies at their christening since) had been decided upon as too fragile to use anymore. James, the son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, was the first to wear it. The Lily Font (a silver baptismal font which was commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 after the birth of their first child) and water from the River Jordan will be used during the baptism.
Following the service, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will give a private tea at Clarence House. Guests will be served slices of christening cake, which is a tier taken from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake, which was designed by Fiona Cairns. A trier was also served at the tea after prince George’s and princess Charlotte’s christenings. The Duke and Duchess saved a total of three triers of their eight-trier wedding cake.
Prince Louis, born on Monday 23 April, is 2,5 months old at his christening today. It takes place 77 days after his birth. He will be christened in the same chapel as his brother, prince George, on Wednesday 23 October 2013 (93 days after his birth). His sister, princess Charlotte, was christened at at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham on Sunday 5 July 2015 (64 days after her birth).
As we saw with prince George and princess Charlotte, he Duke and Duchess again picked a mix of family friends and relatives to serve as godparents for their son. A list of the six godparents:
- Mr. Nicholas van Cutsem (a friend of the Duke, brother of William van Cutsem, who is a godparent to prince George)
- Mr. Guy Pelly (a friend of the Duke)
- Mr. Harry Aubrey-Fletcher (a friend of the Duke)
- The Lady Laura Meade (a friend of the family and the wife of James Meade, who is godparent to princess Charlotte)
- Mrs. Robert Carter (a friend of the Duchess, née Hannah Gillingham)
- Miss Lucy Middleton (the Duchess’ paternal cousin)
In comparison, prince George has seven godparents. His parents choose Zara Tindall-Phillips (Prince William’s paternal cousin), The Hon. Julie Samuels (a friend of the late Princess Diana), Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (former private secretary and mentor to the Duke and Duchess), William van Cutsem, Hugh Grosvenor, Oliver Baker and Emilia Jardine-Paterson (all four are family friends). Unlike her brother, Princess Charlotte ‘only’ has five godparents. Her parents choose Adam Middleton (the Duchess’ paternal cousin), The Hon. Laura Fellowes (Prince William’s maternal cousin), Thomas van Straubenzee, James Meade, and Sophie Carter (all three are family friends).
A few days after the christening, the official christening photographs will be released. This will include a picture of the family of five, a picture of the parents (or either one of them) with the baby prince and a picture with both sides of the family (the Royals and the Middleton Family). For prince George’s christening, five photographs were released after the christening, while princess Charlotte’s christening saw a set of four pictures being released. With both christenings, we respectively saw a sixth for George, and a fifth and sixth picture for Charlotte emerge later through other channels. Other pictures were taken but were kept private, as we saw when an unseen seventh photograph appear on the prince of Wales’ desk in a video message. The pictures will be taken after the service today by portrait photographer Matt Holyoak. Last year he photographed the Queen and the Duke Edinburgh to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.
Editor’s note: We will have a live blog at the time of the christening, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I won’t be able to edit it for the arrivals at 16:00hrs GMT. However, everything will be covered afterwards in a full blog post.