LONDON: Some senior members of the British royal family have not been invited to Prince George’s christening this month because his parents want it to be an “intimate, family affair”.
Prince William’s aunts, Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, have been left off the guest list.
And although Buckingham Palace refused to comment, it seems George’s great-uncles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, are also not attending the event on October 23.
William and Kate have already chosen to break with 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.
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, and 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 the duke and duchess have long made clear they aren’t sticklers for royal convention.
The couple decided to release a family snapshot of Prince George taken by Kate’s father Michael instead of a formal portrait after his birth on July 22.
The couple have a deep emotional attachment to St James’s Palace.
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. – Daily Mail