This afternoon, Prince Louis was christened in Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London. He was feted by both sets of grandparents, three uncles, two aunts, five godparents and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Not too shabby for an 11-week-old. Today also marked the first time we’ve seen all five members of the Cambridge family in one place, with the Duke of Cambridge arriving with Prince George and Princess Charlotte in each hand, and the Duchess following with Louis.
Earlier today Kensington Palace announced Louis’s godparents, who include Nicholas van Cutsem, Laura Meade, Guy Pelly, Aubrey Fletcher, Robert Carter and Lucy Middleton. Per custom, Louis wore a replica of the christening gown that’s been used by members of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria began having children. The original is too delicate now, but the Queen’s dresser has provided an updated version using the same lace and model for the newer generations.
The most startling bit about the attendance today was that neither the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh attended. The decision was apparently made not for health reasons, but due to a busy schedule. The Queen has just returned from Scotland from Holyrood Week, while she is slated to appear tomorrow for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) centenary at Wesminster Abbey.
It’s a full schedule, yes, but it does seem a bit strange to miss a christening. That said, it’s noting is that this is not the first great-grandchild’s christening she has missed – back in 2012 she skipped the christening of Isla Phillips, second daughter of her grandson, Peter Phillips, and his wife, Autumn. I’m not implying there’s anything amiss within the House of Windsor – of course not – but it’s definitely strange optics.
Anyway, back to today – godparents and their spouses and the Middletons arrived first. I have to say, the real banner moment may well be seeing KP refer to Pippa Middleton as Pippa Matthews – we’ve never had official confirmation that she changed her name, though we do know she uses her maiden name professionally. For our purposes, Pippa Matthews it is.
Pippa wore a light blue bespoke Alessandra Rich coat dress with a drop waist that was definitely a fashion miss in my book, but you can see that her pregnancy is chugging along. She’s expecting her first child with her husband of one year this October.
When the RF arrived, they were led by a beaming Charles and Camilla. Camilla wore a white Fiona Clare dress and a hat by Locke.
They were trailed by William with George and Charlotte. Honestly, I feel like every time we see Charlotte I’m taken aback by how much older she looks and we saw her one month ago! Perhaps it’s seeing her hair down and combed straight, but she looks even more grown up to me than she did at Trooping. I was also struck by how much she looks like William today and I’m curious to see whether Louis favors William/Charlotte or Kate/George.
Finally, the bells of the ball: Kate and Louis. This is the first time we’ve seen the newest Cambridge since photos of him were released in early May near Charlotte’s third birthday. Already, he’s lost the newborn look and is significantly bigger. At first glance it looks like he has Middleton features and brown hair, but if memory serves, we all thought George had brown hair at this stage.
Kate wore a new white/cream dress by Alexander McQueen. This is the third time she’s chosen this color and designer for her children’s christening, so I suppose it’s tradition. While new, the cut appears to be along the same lines as the light blue she wore to Trooping with the same tailoring at the shoulders. I’m not a huge fan of it, but I can see how this cut would be forgiving as she recovers her figure and frankly it’s too bland to actively dislike.
What I do actively dislike is the headband by Jane Taylor. It’s very Duchess of Windsor and it’s not quite working for me. That said, it was good to see Kate – as much as covering Meghan these last couple of months has been fun, I can’t wait until she’s back in the program.
Which brings us to the Sussexes – Meghan wore an olive green dress by Ralph Lauren and a matching hat by Stephen Jones. She looked lovely and the color was a nice change of pace from everyone else’s pastels.
After the ceremony, everyone headed over to Charles’s London residence, Clarence House, for a tea that included slices of William and Kate’s wedding cake. I know it’s been frozen, but seven-year-old fruit cake really doesn’t sound that appetizing, does it? [Update: On the way out of the chapel, apparently Charlotte told waiting photographers, “You’re [or he’s] not coming,” to the after party. It’s worth noting that William kept George purposefully on the inside – away from the photographers – entering and exiting the chapel, which seems to be in deference to a shyness he’s exhibited in public for the last year. Charlotte, as she’s displayed a few times now, most notably in April when meeting Louis, is much more forward, though that could also be due to her age. I have no real insight here, and it’s just one off-hand, kind of hilarious comment from a toddler, but I do think it’s going to be interesting to see how George and Charlotte relate – or don’t – to the press in coming years. It’ll be a direct reflection on how this side of the gig has been presented to them, so hold on to your hats.]
Anyway, today was lovely – quiet and cheerful. Official photos should be released later this week. Here’s to hoping we’re reconvening for another royal christening in a year or so with Harry and Meghan at the forefront! On that note, tomorrow morning we’ll cover the RAF centenary and then it’ll be the first day of Harry and Meghan’s Dublin trip. Much excitement. I’m still holding out hope for a Wimbledon appearance from Kate before it wraps up on the 15th and my fingers are crossed that it’s a joint showing with Meghan. Until next time!