Kate Middleton and Prince William are "very excited and delighted" that Prince George will serve as a page, a spokesperson tells PEOPLE
Buckingham Palace announced last week that Prince William and Kate Middleton's 9-year-old son will serve as a Page of Honor at the crowning ceremony — but there's more to the story. Prince George is second in line to the throne (behind his father, Prince William), and his coronation participation marks the first time in modern royal history that a future monarch is officially involved in such a service. According to The Telegraph, George will become the youngest future king to play an official role at a coronation.
"Bringing George in also sends all the right symbolism for the future and gives him something he will always remember," royal author Hugo Vickers told The Times before plans were finalized.
King Charles was 4 at the coronation of his mother Queen Elizabeth in 1953, but he was only brought in to watch the investiture segment (highlighted by the moment of crowning) during the three-hour service. Queen Elizabeth was 11 at the coronation of her father, King George VI, in 1937 and similarly witnessed the festivities from the Royal Gallery, per Westminster Abbey.
Both Charles and Elizabeth appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with other members of the royal family following each coronation.
Prince George is likely to step out in the same way. King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, will appear on the palace balcony for the first time in the new reign following the crowning ceremony joined by members of the royal family.
It remains unclear whether Prince William, who became heir to the throne following the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth in September and the accession of his father King Charles, might be involved in the upcoming crowning ceremony.
Prince George is among the four pages attending to King Charles, while Queen Camilla will be supported by her three grandsons and great-nephew. The Pages of Honor will also form part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey.
"It's a lovely idea to involve their own family members in these roles, rather than having aristocrats' sons and daughters doing it. It is all part of the inclusivity of the family and strengthens their bonds," Vickers told The Times of King Charles and Queen Camilla bringing their grandchildren into the crowning ceremony.
Prince George will take his place alongside Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, 13, the younger twin son of the Marquis of Cholmondeley (who was recently named as Charles' Lord-in-Waiting) and his wife Rose — Norfolk neighbors of Prince William and Princess Kate. The other two pages are Nicholas Barclay and Ralph Tollemache.
Meanwhile, Queen Camilla's grandsons will step into the spotlight to support her on the big day. Twin brothers Gus and Louis Lopes, 14, who are the sons of Camilla's daughter Laura Lopes, will be joined by Freddy Parker Bowles, the 13-year-old son of Camilla's son Tom Parker Bowles. Camilla's great-nephew, Arthur Elliot, will also serve as a page.
The Queen Consort is also a grandmother to Lola Parker Bowles, 15, and Eliza Lopes, 15. Queen Camilla's children and grandchildren all attended the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth in September.
Prince George's involvement in the coronation has been a subject of family discussion behind the scenes as his parents juggled the unique honor with the pressure it might put on their son's shoulders.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson says, "We're all very excited about Prince George's role in the coronation, it will be an incredibly special moment."
The Prince and Princess of Wales are "cognizant that he is old enough to understand what's going on," a royal source told PEOPLE. But they're mindful that normal life resumes when George is back at school with his classmates the following week, where the weekend's events will likely be the talk of his classmates.
"His parents are very excited and delighted that he is a page," a spokesperson for the Prince and Princess of Wales tells PEOPLE. "It's something that his parents have thought long and hard about and are very much looking forward to — and I'm sure George is too."
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