Kate was joined by husband Prince William as she carried a sleeping Louis towards the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who was to perform the ceremony. Kate is currently on maternity leave and this was her second public appearance since the birth of her third son, after the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – who were also in attendance.
On Kate’s side, parents Michael and Carole Middleton, brother James and pregnant sister Pippa were seen arriving at the church, as well as William’s father, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles.
Two notably absent faces were Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. According to reports, this was not down to health issues – Philip, 97, retired from public life last September and underwent hip surgery in April – but was a mutually agreed decision between the Queen and Louis’ parents that was made some time ago.
What were they wearing?
Kate stuck to a neutral palette for the ceremony, opting for a cream Alexander McQueen dress – the same brand who made her previous outfits for George and Charlotte’s christenings and also designed her wedding dress in 2011. But instead of favouring a chic hat, this time she went for a statement headpiece, but stuck to her favourite milliner, Jane Taylor.
Megan Markle looked equally as stunning in a dark olive-green Ralph Lauren dress, cinched around the waist with a belt, and teaming it with matching suede heels and a hat by Stephen Jones. Camilla wore a white A-line dress by Fiona Claire and a wide-brimmed Locke hat.
Prince Louis wore a replica of the Royal Christening Robe, made by dressmaker to the Queen, Angela Kelly, in 2008. According to the official Kensington Royal Instagram, the original robe was made of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin and was created for the christening of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter Victoria, Princess Royal.
Who are the godparents?
Louis’ godparents were revealed just hours before the ceremony. His godmothers are: Lady Laura Meade, wife of James Meade, who is one of William’s oldest friends; Hannah Carter, a Marlborough College friend of Kate’s, who lives close to the couple; and Kate’s cousin Lucy Middleton, who is the niece of Kate’s dad Michael, and the sister of Adam Middleton, one of Princess Charlotte’s godparents.
The two-month-old has also been given three godfathers: Nicholas van Cutsem, who has been close to William and Harry since they were little and is father to one of William and Kate’s royal bridesmaids, Grace; Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, one of William’s closest friends from school, attending both prep school and Eton College with the prince; and Guy Pelly, long-time close friend of William, Harry and Kate – he even planned William’s bachelor party.
What happened on the day?
Before the ceremony, Kate was seen telling the Archbishop that Louis was “very relaxed and peaceful” as he snoozed in her arms, adding: “I hope he stays like this.”
Inside, Kate took Louis to the Lily Font – aka the christening bowl – that was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1842, and Welby baptised Louis by pouring holy water from the River Jordan over his head.
After the ceremony, William and Kate hosted a private tea party where, as with George and Charlotte’s christenings, guests were served slices of the Duke and Duchess’ wedding cake – but not before Princess Charlotte gave a cheery wave to the crowds gathered outside the chapel at St James’s Palace, clutching the Order of Service under her arm.