In Brief

Princess Charlotte to start nursery school in January

Youngest royal to attend Willcocks Nursery School in west London

Princess Charlotte christening: who are her godparents?

06 July

Princess Charlotte was baptised on Sunday in St Mary Magdalene Church, located on the fringe of the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. The christening was an intimate ceremony, with only a handful of guests invited to witness the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, induct the three-month-old princess into the Church of England.

Other family members christened at the 16th-century church include Charlotte's cousin Princess Eugenie, in 1990, and her late grandmother Diana, Princess of Wales in 1961.

Although Princess Charlotte was heard crying as she was brought into the church, spirits were high elsewhere. The Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were all pictured beaming in the sunshine outside the church, along with two year-old Prince George.

It was a more low-key affair than Prince George's christening at St James’ Palace in 2013, when crowds were kept well away from the palace entrance with police barriers. This time, well-wishers were allowed into the paddock adjoining St Mary Magdalene to get an up-close view of the Cambridges as they arrived at the church on foot.

Another difference between the two royal christenings is the number and rank of godparents each sibling will enjoy. Prince George had seven, including Prince William's cousin Zara Tindall, while his sister has five, none of whom are members of the Royal Family.

Here are the five godparents chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for Princess Charlotte:

Lady Laura Fellowes – Prince William's cousin and the only member of his family among the godparents. Her mother Jane, Baroness Fellowes, was the older sister of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Born two years before Prince William, Laura Fellowes was a childhood playmate of the young prince and has remained friendly with him into adulthood. The Daily Telegraph reports that she writes novels under the pen-name Mave Fellowes. 

Thomas van Straubenzee – one of Prince William's oldest and closest friends. Known as "Van", he first met William when they were both pupils at Ludgrove School, an independent school in Berkshire. Now a City stockbroker, Van Straubenzee has remained close friends with Prince William, who acted as an usher at his 2013 wedding to Lady Melissa Percy. In 2011, "Van" briefly made the national news when muggers snatched his mobile phone at knife-point in the middle of a phone call with Prince Harry.

Adam Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge's cousin. She is reportedly close to Adam and his sister Lucy, the children of her uncle Richard Middleton, and attended his wedding to interior designer Rebecca Poynton at the Dorchester Hotel in June last year. An economics and finance graduate, Adam works for Mayfair firm Manchester Square Partners as an advisor to senior executives.

James Meade – one of Prince William's Eton classmates and the son of the late Olympic equestrian champion Richard Meade. The prince was an usher at Meade's wedding to Lady Laura Marsham, daughter of the 8th Earl of Romney. Both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are said to be close to Meade, who escorted Kate Middleton to the Badminton Horse Trials in 2007 during a brief split from Prince William.

Sophie Carter – a close friend of the Duchess of Cambridge, said by the Daily Mirror to be one of her must trusted confidantes. Her brother Robert is married to another of the Duchess' schoolfriends, Hannah Gillingham. Unlike some of the couple's society friends, Carter has kept a low profile and is the least well-known of the godparents. However, she was pictured attending a charity carol concert with the Duchess of Cambridge in 2009.

Princess Charlotte: what to expect from the christening of the royal baby

29 June

Thousands of people are expected to turn out for Princess Charlotte's christening on Sunday, after Kate Middleton and Prince William invited members of the public to the Queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The service will be invitation-only, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked for the paddock outside the church to be opened to the public on 5 July.

The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, Michael Middleton and Carole Middleton are expected to be in attendance, although Prince Harry is likely to be in Africa, where he is undertaking conservation and charity work.

A statement from Kensington Palace said: "While the service inside the church will be private, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be pleased to welcome well-wishers into the paddock outside the church.

"The Duke and Duchess are hugely grateful for the warm wishes they have received since Princess Charlotte's birth – many of them from local people in Norfolk – and are delighted the paddock can be opened on the day of the christening."

Here's what we know about Princess Charlotte's christening so far:

Where is it?

It was announced a few weeks ago that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will conduct the service at the St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, where the royal family normally attend a Christmas service every year on Christmas Day. Welby said he was "delighted" to be conducting the baptism, adding that it would be an "extraordinary honour and privilege to help welcome the princess into the family of the church". St Mary Magdalene Church is also where Princess Diana was christened in 1961 by The Right Reverend Percy Herbert. Royal correspondents had expected Princess Charlotte's christening to take place at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace, where Prince George was baptised in 2013. Nevertheless, Princess Charlotte's ceremony is expected to have some other similarities to that of her brother, who will turn two-years-old next month. The Daily Mirror suggests the decision to hold the service in Norfolk reflects the fact that the family is "enjoying a country family life in their home Anmer Hall".

What happened at Prince George's christening?

The prince was also baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a private ceremony, with just 22 guests. The 45-minute ceremony included two hymns, two lessons read by Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry, and two anthems. The service was followed by tea at Clarence House, hosted by the Prince of Wales. Prince George, the third in line to the throne, wore a lace and satin gown first worn by Queen Victoria's daughter in 1841 and had no fewer than seven godparents: Prince William's cousin Zara Tindall and six friends Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Earl Grosvenor, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Julia Samuel and William van Cutsem.

Who will be Princess Charlotte's godparents?

The Duke's cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have been touted as potential godmothers to Princess Charlotte. Zara Tindall's brother Peter Phillips and Kate Middleton's sister Pippa have also been suggested as possibilities. The Sunday Times says two of the couple's closest friends, James Meade and Thomas van Straubenzee, are believed to be "among several of the couple's inner circle who have been asked to be godparents". Both men were school friends of Prince William, were ushers at the duke and duchess's wedding in 2011 and delivered a joint speech at the wedding reception.

Will there be pictures?

If you can't get a glimpse of Princess Charlotte in real life, photographs of the whole royal family are expected to be released after the christening.

The first photographs of Prince George and Princess Charlotte were released earlier this month. Four photographs, taken by Kate Middleton in mid-May, showed Princess Charlotte in the arms of her brother. In one picture, the prince appears to be kissing his sister on the head. BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said the photographs provided "a rare glimpse of, as things stand, the future of the British monarchy". He added that such glimpses will remain "reasonably rare" as the royal children grow up.

Prince Charles has apparently revealed that his granddaughter, who was born on 2 May in the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, is already sleeping "through the night". He was said to be chatting about Princess Charlotte as he hosted a Clarence House tea party for pilots and aircrew who fought in the Second World War. Geoff Bradley, who was invited alongside his father-in-law, Owen Burns, a 99-year-old former gunner in Bristol Blenheim bombers, said: "We were talking about grandchildren – he was saying Princess Charlotte does sleep through the night and it was much easier on mum than Prince George."

 

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