William and Kate name 7 godparents for son's christening

William and Kate name 7 godparents for son's christening

LONDON - Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine named the godparents for their baby son Prince George on Wednesday, as they gathered close friends and family for a low-key christening far removed from the global hype surrounding his birth.

The couple broke with tradition by only naming one royal, William's cousin and champion horse-rider Zara Philips, in the list of seven godparents, with the others being childhood, university and work friends.

Queen Elizabeth II and the couple's parents and siblings including William's younger brother Prince Harry were among the total of 22 guests invited to the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace in London, along with seven godparents.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual head of the world's Anglicans, will perform the baptism, welcoming the three-month-old into the Church of England he is one day destined to lead as King George VII.

The couple - known to want a relatively normal upbringing for the young prince despite the world's interest - also eschewed tradition by choosing the Chapel Royal rather than Buckingham Palace for the event.

The godparents include Zara Phillips, the daughter of William's aunt Princess Anne and husband of rugby player Mike Tindall, and William's childhood friends William van Cutsem and Earl Hugh Grosvenor; Julia Samuel, who was close to William's his mother Diana; and Emilia Jardine-Paterson, who went to the private Marlborough College with Kate.

Rounding out the list are Oliver Baker, a friend from St Andrew's University in Scotland, where the royal couple met, and William's long-time aide Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former soldier in the elite SAS army unit.

Despite speculation Prince Harry and Kate's sister Pippa Middleton were not named as godparents.

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