Heritage

Why Prince William and Kate Middleton Likely Won't Be Godparents to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Baby

They already have a very important role in the child's life.
IMAGE WPA POOL / GETTY IMAGES
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Update: 5/6/2019: The Duchess of Sussex gave birth to a baby boy early on May 6. The baby is named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. An announcement regarding the grandparents will likely be made in advance of the child's christening.


The first names that immediately come to mind for Baby Sussex's godparents are, of course, Harry's brother and sister-in-law, William and Kate. But given that they will already serve as the child's aunt and uncle, it's unlikely that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would also be asked to be his or her godparents. (Notably, Harry has not been asked to be godfather of any of Will and Kate's kids, and neither have Kate's siblings James and Pippa, for the same reason.)


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Duchess Kate and Prince Louis at his christening last year.

For reference, Princess Charlotte has five godparents: Princess Diana's niece, the Honourable Laura Fellowes; the Duchess of Cambridge's cousin Adam Middleton; Prince William's childhood friend Thomas van Straubenzee; James Meade, another close friend of William's; and Kate's good friend Sophie Carter.

Prince George has seven: Oliver Baker, a friend of Will and Kate's from college; Kate's friend Emilia Jardine-Paterson; Hugh Grosvenor, the 7th Duke of Westminster; Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Will and Kate's former private secretary; Princess Diana's close friend Julia Samuel; Prince William's cousin Zara Tindall; and Prince William's longtime friend William van Cutsem.

And little Prince Louis has six: Kate's cousin, Lucy Middleton, and then Will and Kate's close friends Nicholas van Cutsem, Guy Pelly, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, the Lady Laura Meade, and Mrs. Robert Carter.

Should Meghan and Harry follow Will and Kate's example, the youngest Sussex will likely have between five and seven godparents, with both friends and family in the mix.

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“Godparents are supposed to provide the spiritual guidance to their godchildren, at least for regular folk,” Marlene Koenig explained to Town & Country in the lead up to Prince Louis's birth, clarifying that royal godparents play a "different role—sometimes at a distance—sending a lovely present for their godchild’s birthday until adulthood—and a nice wedding present."

Should the little Sussex have a royal godparent, their relationship could look like that of designer India Hicks and her godfather Prince Charles.

Over the years, Hicks has offered some insight into what it means to have a royal godfather. Last year, she wrote a tribute to Charles on Instagram in honor of his 70th birthday.

View this post on Instagram

Every birthday, every Christmas, a card and present would arrive from my Godfather. To begin with, they were signed: from ‘your loving Godfather Charles’, then they became ‘your old Godfather Charles’ and then ‘your ancient Godfather Charles’. His Royal Highness might be celebrating a 70th birthday this year but, goodness, he is far from ancient. It takes a very fit mind, body and spirit to be engaged in so many charities and military organizations and to be an active patron to hundreds of foundations where his passion and dedication affects such change. I had the opportunity to meet with a young woman who had been a victim of the most intolerable sex abuse, which led to mental heath issues and subsequently unemployment. The Prince’s Trust has become expert in supporting those in particularly challenging situations. This girl has now been given the skills she needs to live and learn and earn. She is one of hundreds of thousands whose lives have turned around because of the Prince’s Trust and the Prince’s personal vision when he founded the charity. I am lucky to have such a Godfather, but we all are lucky to have such a Prince amongst us. (Seen here with my Grandfather)

A post shared by India Hicks (@indiahicksstyle) on

"Every birthday, every Christmas, a card and present would arrive from my Godfather. To begin with, they were signed: from ‘your loving Godfather Charles’, then they became ‘your old Godfather Charles’ and then ‘your ancient Godfather Charles’. His Royal Highness might be celebrating a 70th birthday this year but, goodness, he is far from ancient," Hicks wrote in the caption of a photo of Prince Charles with her grandfather, Lord Mountbatten.

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A few Christmases ago, she even shared photos of one of those cards where Charles signed off, "your incredibly ancient godfather," revealing that the Prince of Wales has been “a remarkable godfather — caring, considerate and involved," and that he has gifted her a Thomas Goode China set piece by piece.

View this post on Instagram

“What do you want for Christmas?” I asked Domino. She answered very quickly and very definitively: “A robotic dog called Chip, that charges itself on his own platform.” The answer just made me feel old, and rather sad thinking about Chip The Robotic Dog. When I suggested he would be cold and unfurry, and just make Banger feel all inadequate, she looked at me as though I had landed from Mars. But Chip The Robotic Dog would certainly be less confusing than the gravy dish I received for Christmas from a certain Godfather when I was about 8 years old. That was probably the first time I remember receiving the thick cardboard box wrapped in brown paper, with an imposing purple ER stamp on it. Inside was lots of scratchy straw and inside that, when you dug deep, was a gravy dish, or a saucer, or a demitasse. For years and years every birthday and every Christmas these cardboard boxes arrived. Every year I was rather hoping for something other than a saucer. Obviously not Chip The Robotic Dog, but maybe an Adam Ant poster or something… I have now moved from one home to another in England and the mountain of Thomas Goode boxes have finally been brought up from the cellar, unwrapped, dusted off and put to use. A complete set of impressive fine English China. In fact, a really Goode one.

A post shared by India Hicks (@indiahicksstyle) on

*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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Caroline Hallemann
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