It was the biggest day of his short life so far, surrounded by his loving family and doting godparents for the historic moment of his christening.
Prince Louis, who snoozed peacefully through proceedings, appeared to know he was in safe hands. The Prince, just 11 weeks old, was “very relaxed and peaceful”, his mother said, as she told the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby: “I hope he stays like this.” The Duchess of Cambridge, who cradled her younger son in his lace and satin dress, was joined by the Duke for the 40-minute ceremony, with siblings Prince George and Princess Charlotte holding their father’s hands tightly.
Six godparents included the Duchess’s cousin, solicitor Lucy Middleton, a handful of the Duke’s school friends and reformed “court jester” Guy Pelly.
Mr Pelly, who attended the christening with his wife Lizzy, is perhaps best known for accompanying Princes William and Harry in livelier days on the London nightclub scene, and has previously said he is now “leaving it to the next generation”.
The Queen, 92, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, did not attend, in what was described as a “mutual decision” made some time ago. It was not due to ill health on the part of the Queen, a source said, with Her Majesty having a busy schedule in Scotland last week and London in the coming days, including the RAF centenary today and a visit from Donald Trump.
Proud grandfather the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall did attend, along with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who walked hand-in-hand.
The small christening party saw Prince George and Princess Charlotte politely shake hands with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Windsor, praised by their father who told them “well done”.
As they left, Princess Charlotte, three, clutched an order of service as a souvenir, while Prince George, four, peered calmly at his baby brother.
They were joined by grandparents Michael and Carole Middleton, uncle James Middleton and pregnant aunt Pippa, who attended with her husband James Matthews.
The godparents included Hannah Carter, a school friend of the Duchess, and Lady Laura Meade, who is married to Prince William’s friend and Princess Charlotte’s godfather, James. Nicholas Van Cutsem is an old family friend whose daughter Florence was a bridesmaid at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, while Harry Aubrey-Fletcher went to Ludgrove School and Eton with the young Prince William.
Mr Pelly, who has been a loyal friend to both Prince William and Prince Harry despite a reputation for encouraging them astray, has previously run night spots including Mahiki and Whisky Mist.
He was once mistakenly tipped to be a godfather to Prince George in 2013, saying then: “I love babies and I have calmed down quite a bit socially now. I think I will be a very, very good godfather — one day, at least.”
Mr Pelly, who married Elizabeth Wilson in 2014, will now have his chance, trusted with a reading of Ephesians 3: 14-19 at the christening.
The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal performed This is the day which the Lord hath made, which was composed for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011, and Suo Gan, a traditional Welsh lullaby.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a dress by McQueen and hat by Jane Taylor, in a cream shade similar to those she chose for the christening of her two older children, while the Duchess of Sussex wore olive green Ralph Lauren.
Prince Louis’ robe was a replica of the lace and satin dress made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841, and was also worn by Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
After the service, the party re-emerged, the Duchess of Cornwall fanning herself with an order of service to relieve the stifling heat before the family headed back to the palace for tea and a slice of fruit cake saved from the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.