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First pictures of Prince Louis’ christening at St James’s Palace

PRINCE Louis looked serene as he was christened at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London on Monday afternoon.

The 11-week-old was “relaxed and peaceful”, his mother was heard telling the Archbishop of Canterbury, adding wryly: “I hope he stays like this.”

Kate Middleton looked elegant in a long-sleeved cream dress with the baby prince in her arms, as husband Prince William escorted their other two children. Newlyweds Meghan Markle and Prince Harry brought up the rear.

Louis wore a replica of the Royal Christening Robe, which was made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal.

It is the same Honiton lace and white satin gown that was worn by his siblings Prince George and Princess Charlotte for their christenings.

Prince Louis slept peacefully in his mother's arms as he arrived at St James's Palace for his christening. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP

Prince Louis slept peacefully in his mother’s arms as he arrived at St James’s Palace for his christening. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via APSource:AP

Kate Middleton looked radiant in a long-sleeved cream dress with matching fascinator. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP

Kate Middleton looked radiant in a long-sleeved cream dress with matching fascinator. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via APSource:AP

The third child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was last seen in public outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital as a newborn on April 23. It has been a long wait for royal fans since then to get a glimpse of the baby prince.

Police officers with guns guarded the entrances to the palace while barricades were set up on streets outside to keep the crowds from spilling onto the street.

About 300 people lined the streets around St James Palace in a bid to see the royal family arrive. Some were under the mistaken impression a walkabout was going to happen, but others pinned their hopes on something spontaneous.

Prince William held the hands of the couple's two older children, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, as the family arrived for the service. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP

Prince William held the hands of the couple’s two older children, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, as the family arrived for the service. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via APSource:AP

The Duchess of Cambridge told Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby her son was 'relaxed and peaceful ... let's hope he stays like this. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via AP

The Duchess of Cambridge told Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby her son was ‘relaxed and peaceful … let’s hope he stays like this. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/Pool Photo via APSource:AP

The mother of three looked delighted with her new baby, who was last seen just after his birth at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital as a newborn on April 23. Picture: James Whatling / MEGA TheMegaAgency.com

The mother of three looked delighted with her new baby, who was last seen just after his birth at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital as a newborn on April 23. Picture: James Whatling / MEGA TheMegaAgency.comSource:Mega

One English couple would have been happy with something far more simple.

“Even just to see their car would be enough,” Lewis Jones, 27, said.

New Yorkers Debbie Mitchell and her daughters Sara, 19, and Hanna, 12, have been in London a few days, but getting close to the christening was a highlight of their trip.

And that’s without a guarantee they will even see any members of the royal wedding. “We hope we’re in the right place and will see something,” Ms Mitchell told news.com.au

They were drawn to the royal family because they were “classy and timeless”, which she hoped was genuine. “They seem very real.”

Having an American in the royal wedding made it even more exciting. “We watched all the wedding, like three times,” said Sara.

Stephanie Fusaro had been waiting in the sun for three hours. “It’s the pomp and circumstance (I love), it’s something you just don’t see anywhere else,” she told news.com.au.

The fact that ordinary people like Kate and Meghan could marry into the royal family added to the intrigue around the Windsors, she said. “I guess it means it can happen for anyone.”

Prince Louis was baptised at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, a venue that is rich in royal history.

It was the setting for Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, and the Queen’s grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, married there in 1893.

Prince Louis’ brother Prince George was christened there also, while sister Princess Charlotte was baptised at Sandringham in Norfolk.

In a statement last night, Kensington Palace confirmed that Louis’ godparents wouldn’t include either William’s brother Harry or Kate’s sister Pippa, with close friends and one relative making the list.

William’s mates Nicholas van Cutsem, fellow Etonian Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and nightclub owner Guy Pelly will serve as godfathers.

Kate’s cousin Lucy Middleton, school friend Hannah Carter and William’s friend Lady Laura Meade will be Louis’ godmothers.

Only about 30 people attended the “small and intimate” christening, including Prince Charles and Camilla, but not the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The decision was not made on health grounds, Buckingham Palace said, and was made some time ago. The monarch, 92, is having a busy week and will be returning from a weekend away at Norfolk. She is hosting President Trump at Windsor Castle on Friday.

Prince Louis was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who recently wed Harry and Meghan Markle.

“You know, if you’re at the wedding don’t drop the rings and if you’re at the baptism don’t drop the baby,” he laughed in a BBC interview.

Following the service, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are holding a private tea at Clarence House where guests will be served slices of christening cake, which is a tier taken from their wedding cake.

andrew.koubaridis@news.com.au

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