According to recent reports, just five senior members of the Royal family have been invited by Prince William and Kate Middleton to today’s christening of Prince George.
The Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex are among those who have been left off the guest list.
Prince William’s cousin Princesses Eugenie, who is in New York, will also miss out, together with the Princess Royal, who is in Canada, and the Countess of Wessex, who is carrying out official duties in Somerset. Zara Phillips, another of Prince William’s cousins, will be attending after she was chosen as a godparent.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s choice of the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace as the venue for the ceremony meant the guest list had to be kept down to fewer than 50 (only 22 guests, according to royal sources), meaning there would not have been room for close friends if the couple’s various aunts, uncles and cousins attended.
Just five senior members of the Royal family have been invited by Prince William and Kate Middleton to today’s christening of Prince George
The only senior members of the Royal family who will be there, apart from Prince George and his parents, are Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.
They will be joined by Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, and her siblings Pippa and James.But there will be no “plus ones”, meaning there is no place for Prince Harry’s girlfriend Cressida Bonas or Pippa Middleton’s boyfriend Nico Jackson.
Marcus Setchell, the obstetrician in charge of the delivery of Prince George, is expected to be at the service, together with midwives Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Arona Ahmed and Lisa Greene, who attended to Kate Middleton in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
A source close to the Earl of Wessex said he would be busy with “meetings all the way through the day”, while the Duke of York has “a day of official engagements in London”.
The ceremony will arguably be the most private christening of a future king or queen in living memory.
Prince George’s seven godparents have been announced ahead of his christening later this afternoon.
Prince George’s godparents are: Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Earl Grosvenor, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Julia Samuel, William van Cutsem and Zara Phillips.
Zara Phillips, wife of former England rugby international Mike Tindall, is Prince William’s cousin.
The Archbishop of Canterbury – Justin Welby – will christen the three-month-old prince at St James’s Palace in central London.
Emilia Jardine-Paterson attended Marlborough College with Kate Middleton, while Oliver Baker went to St Andrews University with Prince William and the duchess.
William van Cutsem is a childhood friend of the duke.
Zara Phillips is one of Prince George’s seven godparents
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton served as private secretary to Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry from 2005 to 2012, and is still principal private secretary and equerry on a part-time basis.
Julia Samuel was a close friend of Prince William’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
Earl Grosvenor is the son of the Duke of Westminster.
Prince William and Kate Middleton will be joined by family and close friends for Prince George’s christening at the palace’s Chapel Royal.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are expected to attend along with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.
Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton and siblings Pippa and James are also expected to be at the ceremony.
Celebrity portrait photographer Jason Bell will take the official pictures, and after the christening he is expected to capture a historic image of the Queen and three future monarchs – Princes Charles, William and George – together.
This will echo a 1894 picture from the christening of the future Edward VIII, showing him with his father, grandfather and great-grandmother – George V, Edward VII and Queen Victoria.
Prince George will wear a replica of the intricate lace and satin christening gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, the Princess Royal, in 1841.
Prince George’s christening service on October 23 at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace could be attended by fewer than 60 people.
Prince William and Kate Middleton have broken with several traditions since their 2011 wedding, but royal christenings have always been for family, close friends and godparents.
Prince George’s christening guest list will include fewer than 60 people
All the public will see and hear of the 45-minute ceremony, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, is the official photos and a few details that Prince William and Kate Middleton decide to release the next day.
Definitely present with Prince William and Kate Middleton will be: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Harry and Michael and Carole Middleton with Kate’s sister Pippa and brother James.
Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and their spouses have not been invited, although Palace officials insist there are no family rifts.
Kensington Palace has refused to comment on the identity of Prince George’s six godparents.
However, three close friends have been named as likely candidates: University of St Andrews contemporary Fergus Boyd, 31; interior designer and school friend of Kate Middleton Emilia d’Erlanger, also 31, and Hugh van Cutsem, 39, one of Prince William’s oldest friends.
Contenders for the other three places include university friends Oliver Baker and Alasdair Coutts-Wood; Kate Middleton’s Marlborough school friend Alicia Fox-Pitt and St Andrews students Virginia Fraser and Olivia Bleasdale.
If Prince William and Kate Middleton want some older guardians there is former nanny Tiggy Pettifer or former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, while Prince Harry, Pippa Middleton and Zara Phillips can’t be ruled out.
Joe Little, editor of Majesty magazine, says: “William and Kate have shown with their wedding, and now with the christening, that they will do things their way in the 21st century, and choose the people they want.
“It is a refreshing modern outlook as long as they don’t overdo it and become Mr. and Mrs. Ordinary, which would take away the magic of the monarchy and could cause people to lose interest.”
Kensington Palace has refused to comment on the identity of Prince George’s six godparents
In 1948, Prince Charles’s names were not even made public until the day of his christening, a month after his birth.
Most of Prince Charles’ eight godparents were elderly, and two, great uncles King Haakon of Norway and Prince George of Greece, could not make it to the service.
By contrast Prince William howled through his christening on August 4, 1982, watched by the Queen Mother on her 82nd birthday who said afterwards: “He certainly has a good pair of lungs!”
Prince William wore the same christening gown, made from Spitalfi elds silk satin and Honiton lace, as all the royals since Queen Victoria’s oldest daughter Victoria was baptized in 1841.
The last royal baby to wear it was the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s daughter Lady Louise but it is now in the Museum of London and a replica has been made by the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly. This gown, which Prince George will wear at his tomorrow’s christening, was first used for Edward and Sophie’s son James Viscount Severn in 2008.
Prince William’s godparents were mainly chosen by Prince Charles, and included former King Constantine of Greece, Lord Romsey, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Westminster and Lady Susan Hussey, the Queen’s senior lady-in waiting.
The one big surprise was Prince Charles’s mystical mentor, the explorer and philosopher Sir Laurens van der Post, who was chosen to give a spiritual element to William’s childhood.
Princes were traditionally circumcised for hygienic reasons.
Prince George’s christening will happen tomorrow and the Archbishop of Canterbury – the Most Reverend Justin Welby – spoke for the first time about the “extraordinary moment” when he will baptize Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby son.
In a message released by Lambeth Palace, the Most Reverend Justin Welby spoke of the “great times” Prince William and Kate Middleton will have as parents in the years to come.
The 45-minute christening service will take place on Wednesday, October 23, at 3 p.m. at the Chapel Royal within St James’s Palace.
The ceremony will be conducted by the Archbishop in what he called a celebration of “the next hugely important moment” in Prince George’s life.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby said: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have had so much advice they could probably fill a house with it.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby spoke for the first time about the “extraordinary moment” when he will baptize Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby son
“My message to them would be <<what a treat, what an amazing gift, what wonderful times you will have>>.
“A few months ago millions of people around the world celebrated the birth of Prince George.
“Now we’re celebrating the next hugely important moment, which is his christening.”
Beneath the ornate Hans Holbein ceiling of the Chapel Royal, the third-in-line to the throne and future supreme governor of the Church of England will be christened George Alexander Louis.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said: “I will mark Prince George with the sign of the cross on his forehead and that’s exactly what every priest always does every single baptism.
“It’s an extraordinary moment because that is the sign by which we understand this person belongs to God.
“There’ll be great times, there’ll be tough times – there always are with children.
“Through christening you are bringing God into the middle of it all and I know that when he’s in the middle of it all, somehow, it’s held in his hands, and that’s extraordinary.”
He also talked about how Prince George’s baptism means he joins almost 2,000 million people around the world in what he calls the “family of the Church”.
Prince George’s christening service will take place next week, on October 23, and Kensington Palace has shared details concerning the event.
According to People magazine, Prince William and Kate Middleton will bring their 3-month-old son before the Archbishop of Canterbury on Wednesday, October 23, at 3 pm, at the chapel at St. James Palace. The service will last 45 minutes.
St. James Palace chapel holds special meaning for Prince William as it housed the coffin of his late mother Princess Diana for one week before her burial. There has been some speculation that Prince William chose the location to pay tribute to his mother, as he did with the royal wedding that was held in Westminster Abbey, where Princess Diana’s funeral took place.
Prince William and Kate Middleton will bring their 3-month-old son before the Archbishop of Canterbury on Wednesday, October 23
Those expected to attend Prince George’s christening service include Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Harry and the Middletons.
The guest list for the christening has not been released but Kensington Palace has said “close members of both families” will attend.
The names of Prince George’s godparents are also yet to be announced.
Following the christening, a picture will be released showing the Queen with three future monarchs – Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George.
The last time such a gathering of a monarch and her three heirs occurred was in Queen Victoria’s time.
That photograph, taken at the christening of the future Edward VIII in July 1894 showed the royal baby with his father, later George V; grandfather, the future Edward VII; and great grandmother, Queen Victoria.
Meanwhile, the Royal Mint is to create a set of commemorative coins to mark the christening.
Prince George’s christening will “be a private and intimate family event”, it was revealed this week.
Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace representatives have informed us that while “a guest list will be released nearer the time” of the ceremony, it has been confirmed that Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will not be there.
The Countess of Wessex is scheduled to open the new Girlguiding Residential Lodge in Somerset before attending a Festival Concert at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter in Exeter, Devon, according to the Palace. She will then visit the NSPCC Service Centre in Bristol and finally open the Healing Foundation Cleft Gene Bank and Cohort Study, also in Bristol.
Prince George’s christening will be a private and intimate family event
Princess Anne will be in Canada on that day, where she will visit the Canadian Forces Medical Services Training Centre.
A royal source revealed to E! News about the christening: “William and Kate are going to do things differently, and actually, their families are respectful of that. This won’t be a case of a big rift. Christenings are not state occasions. They’re private affairs and can be as big or intimate as the parents desire.”
It was on September 27 that the official announcement was made about the christening, which will take place at The Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace.
While it remains to be seen who will wind up being Prince George’s six godparents, The Sun did report in August that Prince William and Kate Middleton have asked good friend Guy Pelly to be one of the godfathers.
Several other names have been thrown around as possible contenders including Prince William’s longtime pal Thomas van Straubenzee, Kate Middleton’s friend Alicia Fox-Pitt and, of course, Prince George’s aunt and uncle, Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry.