It was a special day when the royal family gathered for the christening of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s youngest son, Prince Louis. How do we know? Well, after the baby’s baptism, Kensington Palace released some photos taken for the occasion. And people couldn’t stop talking about the sweet snapshots.
Prince William first met Kate Middleton in 2001 while studying at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. They then quietly started dating two years later without announcing their relationship to the world. But in 2007 William and Kate actually broke up for a brief period.
Before long, however, they got back together, and in October 2010 William proposed while they were in Kenya. The couple then confirmed their engagement the following month and married on April 29, 2011. They later welcomed their first child, a son named George, on July 22, 2013.
Then on May 2, 2015, their daughter, Charlotte, was born. The duchess fell pregnant once more in mid-2017, and on April 23, 2018, she gave birth to Prince Louis.
Like George and Charlotte, Louis was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. And as the youngest child of the couple, he stands fifth in line to the throne, after Prince Charles, Prince William and his two siblings. Interestingly, Louis Arthur Charles was named after his great-great-great-uncle, Lord Mountbatten, as well as his grandfather.
As expected, the prince made his public debut outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital a few hours after his birth, just before William and Kate took him home to Kensington Palace. Less than two weeks later, the couple shared two photographs of their baby boy, including one showing Charlotte kissing his head. But the little royal wasn’t seen again until his christening took place on July 9, 2018.
Prince Louis was baptized in the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, where the Royal Court is still technically situated. For, although the Queen’s primary residence is Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace is home to her daughter Anne, Princess Royal, as well as Princess Alexandra and Princess Beatrice of York. The Chapel Royal refers to the priests connected to the royal family but also exists as a place of worship reserved solely for members of the monarchy.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is the leader of and highest-ranking bishop within the Church of England, christened Louis. And the date of the ceremony held significance for the Queen. On July 9, 1947, after all, she revealed her engagement to Prince Philip – and they have now been married for more than 70 years.
The Chapel Royal is also where Meghan Markle was allegedly baptized ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry. You see, the Duchess of Sussex was raised as a Protestant and attended a Catholic school. So although she did not have to convert to be allowed to marry Harry, she apparently decided to be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England in a ceremony reportedly also conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
But let’s get back to Prince Louis and his christening. On the day, Louis was sleeping when he arrived at the chapel, and Kate reportedly commented that he was “very relaxed and peaceful.” She apparently added to the archbishop, “I hope he stays like this!” As is tradition, the baby’s head was then wet in the royal Lily Font using water from the River Jordan, where Jesus is believed to have been baptized by John the Baptist.
Louis’ outfit for the occasion was also traditional. “At his christening, Prince Louis wore a handmade replica of the Royal Christening Robe, made by Angela Kelly, Dressmaker to The Queen,” Kensington Palace announced. “The original Royal Christening Robe, of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin, was made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal.” Kelly originally created the replica in 2008.
And although James, Viscount Severn, was the first to wear the robe in 2008, George and Charlotte actually wore it at their respective christenings. Yet while George’s service also took place at St. James’s Palace, Charlotte was christened at St. Mary Magdalene Church, where Princess Diana’s baptism was held in 1961, and close to Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
In any case, after Prince Louis’ christening, the family celebrated at Clarence House. And it was here that Matt Holyoak took the official portraits that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge later released to the public. The photos were naturally adorable, and fans were understandably in awe of them. In particular, Prince George and Princess Charlotte stole the show.
One photo showed William, Kate and their brood posing with members of the family on both sides. These included Harry and Meghan and Charles and his wife, Camilla, as well as Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole, her brother, James, sister Pippa and brother-in-law James Matthews. Another snapshot showed just William, Kate and their three children.
And a third photograph was of all the Royals present. It was this picture in particular that captured the attention of fans, as it showed Charlotte holding her little brother’s hand and George flashing a big smile. Commenters were quick to share their delight at the candid look into the family’s relationships.
“George and Charlotte look so cute in these photos; Princess Charlotte is clearly a proud big sister,” one person shared. Another agreed, writing, “Princess Charlotte is so confident.” And a third commenter wrote, “Prince George’s cheeky grin is adorable. Beautiful family!”
The response to the pictures was so positive, in fact, that the couple decided to share another. This one showed Louis with a big smile on his face in the garden of Clarence House and was taken by their private photographer, Matt Porteous. “The Duke and Duchess hope that everyone enjoys this lovely photograph of Prince Louis as much as they do,” a message from Kensington Palace read.
Holyoak had previously taken photos of the Queen and Prince Philip for their 70th wedding anniversary. He revealed afterwards that he had been thrilled to work with the royal family again. “I was truly honored at being asked to take the official photographs at the christening of Prince Louis and to witness at first hand such a happy event,” he said. “Everyone was so relaxed and in such good spirits, it was an absolute pleasure. I only hope I have captured some of that joy in my photographs.”
Unfortunately, though, the Queen and Prince Philip were not present to witness Louis being baptized, although they had attended the services for George and Charlotte. Still, the youngest child of William and Kate has six godparents: Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, Hannah Gillingham Carter, Nicholas van Cutsem, Lady Laura Meade, Lucy Middleton and Guy Pelly.
And it’s clear that despite their titles, parenting is a top priority for both William and Kate. William, who lost his mother Princess Diana in a car crash at age 15, has even said he is “a lot more emotional” since becoming a dad. “[It’s] just because you realize how precious life is, and it puts it all in perspective,” he said in a 2016 BBC documentary. “The idea of not being around to see your children grow up and stuff like that.”