Prince Louis is only 2 months old, but he's about to appear at his first big engagement! The christening of Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child will take place on Monday, July 9, Kensington Palace confirmed today.
Here's everything we know about this important moment for the royal family:
It will take place on Monday, July 9, 2018.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to announce that the christening of Prince Louis will take place on Monday 9th July at The Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London.
Prince Louis will be christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby. pic.twitter.com/aBGNYTMRri
- Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 20, 2018
The Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace will host the ceremony.
Royal christenings have taken place at several different locations. For many years, the family favored Buckingham Palace, including for Prince William's 1982 ceremony. However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose a more intimate venue for Prince George and Louis's christenings by selecting the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace in London.
They're not the only ones. Meghan Markle also underwent the rite there before her wedding, and Kate Middleton took communion in the space ahead of her own nuptials. The Chapel Royal is also where the coffin of Princess Diana was laid before her funeral in 1997.
Today, St. James's Palace remains a busy working palace, even though the monarch does not live there. Built in the 16th century by King Henry VIII, it now hosts some 100 official receptions each year as well as many Court offices. Clarence House – the home of Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall - stands adjacent to it.
Princess Charlotte's baptism took place in a different location, however. St. Mary Magdalene Church in Norfolk hosted both her July 2015 christening as well as her late grandmother's in 1961.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will christen Prince Louis.
As the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby is the most senior bishop in the church of England and the symbolic head of the Anglican faith. Installed in 2013, he has also baptized Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Meghan Markle.
For both of Prince Louis's siblings, he used water from the River Jordan, the believed location of Jesus's baptism by Saint John.
He will wear a replica of a historic gown.
Queen Victoria commissioned the original garment for her oldest daughter, and 62 different royal babies then wore it from 1841 until 2004. Made of Honiton lace, the gown borrowed stylistic elements from the Queen's white wedding dress.
But after more than 160 years of use, the royal family made the decision to retire the historic and fragile fabric. The Queen's personal assistant and dresser Angela Kelly commissioned an exact replica of the original, which debuted in 2008 at the christening of the Queen's youngest grandchild James Viscount Severn.
Prince Louis will likely have many godparents.
His older brother has seven and his sister has five, so more than two isn't out of the norm. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have previously chosen close friends, cousins, and other relatives to fill the role.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte will probably attend.
A 2-year-old Prince George stole the show at his younger sister's christening, so expect to see more royal cuteness in July.
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also probably fill out the audience of about 20 to 30 guests that day. Prince Philip may or may not attend based on his health; he has skipped several recent high-profile events including the Royal Ascot and the Trooping the Colour following his recent hip surgery.
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