Only hours before the christening of Prince George Louis Alexander, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have revealed whom they have chosen to be his godparents. "Its not a popularity contest or about picking your best friends," royal expert Victoria Arbiter tells Yahoo Shine. Arbiter says that the godparents have to have a strong commitment to the church, be deeply loyal friends, and be able to guide and support the boy as he grows up. "It really shows William and Kate's most trusted inner circle."
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In a slight break with tradition, the have chosen seven people instead of six, but Arbiter points out there is no hard and fast rule. While Prince William's godparents are all members of the aristocracy, his son George's will be a mixture of old school friends, confidants, and blue bloods echoing the more diverse group that William and Kate have been exposed to and grown close with. The godparents will be:
Olive Baker attended St. Andrews University with the Duke and Duchess.
Emilia Jardine-Paterson attended Marlborough College with the duchess, runs a interior design firm under her maiden name, Emilia d'Erlanger, and is said to be helping the couple decorate their quarters at Kensington Palace.
Earl Grosvenor (first name Hugh) is the son of the Duke of Westminster.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton served as private secretary to the William and Kate from 2005-2012 and continues to work for the Palace part-time.
The Honorable Julia Samuel was a close friend of William's mother, Lady Diana. She founded a nonprofit organization, Child Bereavement UK, which he supports.
Zara Tindall is the duke's cousin and married to former rugby pro Mike Tindall with whom she's expecting her first child around Christmas. She's the only member of the royal family to be chosen.
William Van Custem is one of William's oldest friends. William was an usher at his wedding to Rose Astor in 2005, and is godfather to his daughter Grace, the famous flower girl pictured covering her ears in the official wedding photograph of the duke and duchess kissing.
The christening will take place at 3 p.m. in London in the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace. Arbiter describes it as a warm and intimate space with a strong feeling of spirituality. It has special meaning for William because it was there his mother lay in rest during the days preceding her funeral.
While William and Kate more modern and less concerned with rigidly adhering to tradition than royals from generations past, many details of the christening trace back to the time of Queen Victoria including a hand-made replica of the lace and white satin christening robe that was made for her first child in 1841. The silver baptismal font, called the Lily Font, was also commission by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and has been used at every royal christening since that time.
Unlike the royal wedding, which was attended but about 1,900 guests, the christening will be a private, intimate gathering. Only 22 guests witness the event, including the Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburgh, the duke and duchess's parents, Prince Harry, Pippa Middleton, and the spouses of the selected godparents. The Archbishop of Canterbury will perform the baptism. Following the ceremony, the guests will attend a tea at Clarence House. They will be served a tier from the duke and duchess's wedding cake, preserved for the occasion. The original cake had eight tiers and was decorated with 900 painstakingly iced flowers including white rose, daffodil, honeysuckle, daisies, and lavender.
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