Zara Phillips and Diana's close friend amongst Prince George's godparents

The speculation as to possible godparents began long before little Prince George made his entrance. Now the names of those selected have been revealed – and Zara Phillips is one of the surprise choices made by Kate Middleton and Prince William.

It was thought at least one family member and one royal would feature in a small list of close family and friends. But few guessed that the couple would include their former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.

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The 53-year-old former member of the Irish Guards served as private secretary to the Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry from 2005-2012 and continues to serve part-time as principal private secretary and equerry.

Another of William and Kate's choices honour the memory of his mother – they've asked Julia Samuel, who was a close friend of Princess Diana.

There is also a member of the nobility in the form of the son and heir of the Duke of Westminster – Hugh, Earl Grosvenor. His mother Natalia is William's godmother and was also a friend of Diana's.

The other three godparents are close friends of the couple. Oliver Baker – who went to St Andrews with William and Kate – joins the Duchess' best friend from Marlborough College, Emilia Jardine-Paterson.

Completing the lineup is William van Cutsem, one of William's oldest and dearest friends.

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