Anne must be relieved.
Some senior members of the Royal Family have not been invited to Prince George’s christening this month because his parents want it to be an ‘intimate, family affair’, the Daily Mail has learnt.
Prince William’s aunts, Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, have been left off the guest list, the Mail was told last night. And although Buckingham Palace refused to comment, it seems George’s great-uncles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, are also not attending the hugely anticipated event on October 23.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge want the Christening of their son Prince George to be an 'intimate, family affair'
William and Kate have already chosen to break with recent royal tradition and have their son christened at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, because it is smaller and ‘more personal’ than Buckingham Palace.
Now the Mail has learnt that only the couple’s closest family and friends will be attending. The full guest list will not be confirmed by Kensington Palace until nearer the day, but it is likely to include great-grandparents the Queen and Prince Philip, and grandparents Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as uncle Prince Harry.
Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, sister Pippa and brother James are also due to attend.
Details of the six chosen godparents are also yet to be released, but names in the frame include William’s longest-serving adviser Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, best friend Thomas van Straubenzee and ex-royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.
Instead of joining the celebrations, the Countess of Wessex, who is married to Prince Edward, will now undertake a day of engagements in the West Country, while Princess Anne is going ahead with an official visit to Canada. When asked whether either had been invited in the first place, a palace source said: ‘All I can say is that the christening will be an intimate affair.’
Kensington Palace refused to comment last night, saying: ‘We will announce the full guest list in due course when we are ready to do so.’ But a royal source added: ‘The christening will be a small, intimate and personal family affair.’ The couple’s decision to use the Chapel Royal as a venue surprised many when it as announced earlier this month.
Prince William, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne were all baptised in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.
William and Kate have already chosen to break with recent royal tradition and have their son christened at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace The Queen was christened in the palace’s private chapel.
But the Duke and Duchess have long made clear they aren’t sticklers for royal convention. William ripped up the suggested guest list for his wedding because he ‘hardly knew anyone on it’ and the couple decided to release a family snapshot of Prince George taken by Kate’s father Michael instead of a formal portrait following his birth on July 22.
It is understood that William and Kate favoured the Holbein-decorated Chapel Royal because it is, in the words of one royal aide, ‘a small, very personal venue’.
The couple have a deep emotional attachment to St James’s Palace, where, until recently, their household was based.
In 1997, the body of William’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales lay before the chapel altar so her family and friends could pay their respects in private, before her funeral in Westminster Abbey.
And in April 2011, Kate chose the chapel to be confirmed into the Church of England before her marriage to Prince William.
A Palace source last night confirmed it would be a ‘fairly small and intimate affair’. By contrast William’s christening in August 1982 was attended by more than 60 guests.
Prince Andrew, who was serving in the Falklands War, and Princess Margaret, who was holidaying in Italy, were the only senior royals not in attendance.