In Depth

Prince Louis official christening photos: what do they reveal?

The Queen was absent from the ceremony but still finds a place in official shots

Kensington Palace has released five photographs of the christening of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, Prince Louis.

Fifth in line to the throne, the prince was baptised in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace last Monday. Four of the images released were taken by British photographer Matt Holyoak in the Morning Room and garden of Clarence House.

This morning a fifth photograph (above), by Jersey-based photographer Matt Porteous, was also released showing Prince Louis laughing with his mother.

So what do the photographs reveal about the royals and their special day?

In the photos, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are joined by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Charles and Camilla, Carole and Michael Middleton, Pippa and James Matthews, and James Middleton. 

The Queen and Prince Philip were notably absent from the christening. The monarch, who has begun to scale back her responsibilities, had a busy week ahead of her, including the RAF centenary celebrations and tea with US President Donald Trump, notes CNN.

Nevertheless, the 92-year-old “poignantly retains a place” in the intimate family portraits, “watching over the next generation of her family”, says The Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper says an oil painting of the Queen by Michael Noakes appears to have been “raised several inches up the wall” from its previous position to ensure it is visible in the official picture. 

The images mark the first time all five members of the young family have been officially photographed.

“The latest portrait conveys the gradual shift towards the next generation as the younger ranks are swelled by new births and happy marriages while the most senior members of the family take a back seat,” says the Telegraph.

The photographs also offer an insight into Clarence House, the official residence of Prince Charles and Camilla.

The Cambridges are sat on a 1773 Chippendale sofa, with a portrait of George Bernard Shaw by Augustus John also in the background. “For nearly 50 years, from 1953 to 2002, Clarence House was home to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and is still decorated to her taste,” says the Daily Express.

The family shots include a lot of smiles, particularly from Prince George who is grinning from ear to ear. 

Holyoak said he was honoured to “witness at first hand such a happy event”.

He added: “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.” 

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