Hours ahead of Britain’s Prince Louis’ christening on July 9, Kensington Palace revealed the names of the baby boy’s godparents. While some fans might have expected Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex to be chosen for this role, the newlyweds did not make the cut.
Instead, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose close friends and extended family members to be Louis’ godparents. This includes Nicholas van Cutsem (Prince William’s friend), Guy Pelly (a longtime friend of William, Catherine and Harry), Harry Aubrey-Fletcher (William’s school friend), Lady Laura Meade (the wife of James Meade, who attended school with William), Hannah Carter (Catherine’s university friend), and Lucy Middleton (Catherine’s cousin).
So why weren’t Harry and Meghan given the honour? According to Express U.K., it’s because the Cambridges are sticking with their own tradition of choosing non-royals to be their children’s godparents.
U.K. royalty expert Richard Fitzwilliams even predicted to the site that “emphasis could be firmly be on their close friends” when making the decision, as the couple did not choose any royal family members to be Princess Charlotte’s godparents in 2015 and did not choose any immediate family members to be Prince George’s in 2013.
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave St Mary’s Hospital with newborn Prince Louis on April 23 2018.
The duke and duchess have always emphasised their desire for their children to have normal lives, rather than “growing up behind palace walls”. And Louis’ non-royal godparents will have influence on the little prince.
“It’s an important role. A godparent is there to provide religious guidance. It’s also somebody who is there other than a parent or family member that a child could turn to,” royal expert Victoria Aribter explained to Hello magazine in 2015.
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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, carries Prince Louis as they arrive for his christening service at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace in London, on Monday.
The Cambridges also kept up their tradition of choosing several godparents for their children: Prince George has seven godparents, including Oliver Baker (a friend of the Cambridge’s from St Andrew’s University) and Emilia Jardine-Paterson (one of the duchess’ closest school friends), while Princess Charlotte has five, including Adam Middleton (the duchess’ cousin) and Thomas van Straubenzee (William’s old school friend).
But just because the Duke and Duchess of Sussex won’t be Prince Louis’ godparents, doesn’t mean they won’t play an important role in the infant’s life, as they will always be his aunt and uncle.
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Prince Louis was born on April 23 2018 in London, England.
And as good uncles do, Harry has bought his youngest nephew a truly special gift to mark his christening: a first-edition “Winnie The Pooh” from 1926.
Uncle Harry has also promised to build the little prince a library in memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, according to the Sun U.K.
“One of Harry’s happiest childhood memories was being read a bedtime story by his mother,” a friend told the site. “She loved all the old classics, and Harry had the brilliant idea of starting a little library of first editions for Louis, Charlotte and George to enjoy as they get older.”
“‘Robinson Crusoe’ was William’s favourite book, but Harry loved all things A.A. Milne,” the source added.
Prince Louis will be christened at The Chapel Royal at London’s St James’ Palace, which is the same place at which his older brother George was baptised in 2013. The private ceremony is expected to last 40 minutes.