The occasion marked the first time the Cambridges have been publicly seen together as a family of five.
Eleven-week-old Louis has grown so much since we last saw him! I do believe he favours his mother. What do you all think?
The little prince slept peacefully in his mother's arms.
The christening was an intimate affair attended by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Michael and Carole Middleton, Pippa and James Matthews, James Middleton and Louis' godparents and their spouses.
Unfortunately, neither the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh were present. Buckingham Palace said the decision was taken "some time ago" and it is not due to health reasons. Richard Palmer reports "I’ve spoken to a couple of sources and the explanation seems to be it’s another busy week for the monarch at 92. She has the RAF centenary tomorrow, a meeting with President Trump on Friday and audiences in between. I understand that it was mutually agreed some time ago and the Cambridges are “relaxed” about it." It was incredibly surprising news. If it was decided upon weeks ago, one would imagine it would have been leaked to a trusted outlet to avoid it becoming the talking point on the day. I certainly hope it's not because Her Majesty or Prince Philip are poorly.
Louis' godmother Laura Meade with James Middleton.
The Duchess was in great spirits and kept a close eye on Louis as they arrived. We saw several excellent mother/son shots. Below, Kate talking to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
A very grown up looking Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Russell Myers reports "Prince William encouraged his children George and Charlotte to "shake hands" with the Archbishop of Canterbury and said "Well done" when they did so." William and Kate chose six godparents for Prince Louis. Each has a long, or in some cases life-long connection to William or Kate.
They are all people in the inner-circle the couple trust implicitly.
Nicholas van Cutsem - A close friend of Prince William's whose daughter Florence was a bridesmaid at Harry and Meghan's wedding.
Guy Pelly - Known as a "party animal", the well-known nightclub owner is one of William and Harry's closest friends. The royal pair acted as ushers at Guy's Memphis wedding to Elizabeth Wilson in 2014. Guy's mother Lady Carolyn Warren was a friend of Diana's for many years.
Harry Aubrey-Fletcher - Hello! reports "Harry Aubrey-Fletcher is the son of Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, the 8th Baronet and Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. Prince William was an usher when Harry married Louise Stourton, in Boroughbridge, West Yorkshire. It was the first wedding that William and Kate attended after they announced their engagement in 2010."
The Lady Laura Meade - Laura is the wife of one of William's dearest friends James Meade. He is the son of Olympic gold medallist equestrian Richard Meade. He has become a close friend of Kate's too, and accompanied her to the Badminton Horse Trials after her brief split from William in 2007. James is Princess Charlotte's godfather. The couple have been photographed with William and Kate on a number of occasions - most recently Laura was spotted with Kate at the Beaufort Polo Club last month.
Miss Lucy Middleton - Lucy Middleton is Kate's cousin, the daughter of Michael Middleton's brother Richard. Lucy's brother Adam is one of Princess Charlotte's godparents. Kate is said to be close to the solicitor, they both spent part of their gap year studying Italian in Florence together.
Hannah Gillingham (Mrs Robert Carter) - Hannah has been a friend of Kate's since they attended Marlborough College together.
Prince Louis wore a hand-made replica of the royal christening robe, made by Angela Kelly, dressmaker to the Queen. The original Honiton lace and satin robe, was last used in 2004 with Lady Louise Windsor being the last royal baby to wear the piece. After years of wear it had become too fragile to use, so in 2008 Her Majesty commissioned a replica. It features the same length skirt, elaborate collars and bow as its predecessor. The first baby to wear it was was James, Viscount Severn, son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Both George and Charlotte wore it for their christenings.
The Lily Font and water from the River Jordan was used during the baptism.
The silver baptismal font which was commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 after the birth of their first child, Victoria, Princess Royal. It was first used at The Princess Royal’s christening in 1841 and has been a feature of Royal christenings since then.
The Chapel Royal at St James's Palace was used for the lying in state of Diana, Princess of Wales after her death in 1997. The chapel was also the venue for Kate's confirmation into the Church of England in 2011, in a private ceremony before the royal wedding. Built in 1531, the heart of Mary Tudor was laid beneath its chancel step in 1558. Most recently, Prince George was baptised there in 2013, the Palace said William and Kate chose the Chapel Royal because it was the "perfect venue" for the intimate christening.
The traditional 40 minute service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Ahead of the service he said:
'I’m delighted and privileged to be christening Prince Louis today – a precious child made in God’s image, just as we all are. Please join me in praying for him and his family on this special day.
“You are my beloved” (Mark 1:11)'
Kensington Palace shared details of the service:
'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen two hymns, two lessons and two anthems for the christening of their son, Prince Louis. The Hymns are O Jesus, I Have Promised and Lord of All Hopefulness.
The lessons are from St. Mark 10: 13-16, read by Miss Lucy Middleton and Ephesians 3: 14-19, read by Mr Guy Pelly. The anthems are This is the day which the Lord hath made (John Rutter) and Suo Gân, a traditional Welsh Lullaby (Gareth Wilson).
This is the day which the Lord hath made was composed for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Wedding on 29th April, 2011. The anthems will be performed by The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal. The Processional Organ Music will be R. Vaughan Williams' Prelude on 'Rhosymedre.' The Recessional Organ Music will be Prince Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar's Concerto in G major, BWV 592.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will baptise Prince Louis. He will be supported by The Dean of The Chapel Royal, The Right Reverend and Right Honourable the Lord Chartres, and The Sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal, The Reverend Canon Paul Wright.'
The Cambridges leaving after the service.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex departing.
Following the service, William and Kate gave a private tea at Clarence House. Guests were served slices of christening cake, which is a tier taken from The Duke and Duchess' wedding cake.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake, designed by Fiona Cairns, was made from 17 individual fruit cakes and had eight tiers. The cake was decorated with cream and white icing using the Joseph Lambeth technique. There were up to 900 individually iced flowers and leaves of 17 different varieties decorated on the cake. A garland design around the middle of the cake matched the architectural garlands decorated around the top of the Picture Gallery in Buckingham Palace, the room in which the cake was displayed during the wedding.
The official portraits will be taken at Clarence House by Matt Holyoak. The photographer took the much loved 70th wedding anniversary portraits of the Queen and Prince Philip. We can expect to see them released later this week.
A video of the royals after the christening. As they are leaving, Charlotte turns to the photographer and says "You're not coming", much to the surprise of Prince William :)
For both George and Charlotte's christenings, the Duchess opted for bespoke cream Alexander McQueen ensembles and hats by milliner Jane Taylor.
It was a hat trick for McQueen and Jane Taylor today with Kate selecting the designer and milliner once again. Kate's bespoke dress features a v neck and puff sleeves. It was a very elegant look and an ideal choice for the occasion.
A closer look at Kate's Jane Taylor headband style hat with floral detail.
Kate wore her Jimmy Choo Romy pumps. They are available in a selection of colours at Nordstrom.
The Duchess debuted a new pair of pearl cluster earrings. The wonderful UFO No More team identified them as the Cassandra Goad Cavolfiore Pearl Studs. The £4,360 pair are described as "set with seven pearls set with diamonds (0.3cts). Inspired by the clusters of young flower stalks of the cauliflower (cavolfiore) in the market. From the Journey to Sicily."
See you later this week :)