With Prince George’s little sister having arrived healthy and happy at St Mary's Hospital, weighing in at 8 lbs 3 oz, royal watchers are already placing bets on who the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, will choose for the baby’s godparents.
Godparents are important business for British royals, with five to 10 coming standard for every newborn prince or princess. Both William and Harry were given six godparents – three godmothers and three godfathers each – while Prince George and the Queen have seven and Prince Charles has eight.
In the past, godparents were almost exclusively royals, nobles and aristocrats. (William’s include former King Constantine II of Greece, Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy and the Duchess of Westminster.) However, modern William and Kate famously broke with tradition by choosing mostly close family friends as godparents to George – a trend that royal fans suspect may ring true again the second time around.
Prince George was baptized in October 2013, with Oliver Baker (William’s friend of St Andrews), Emilia Jardine-Paterson (Kate’s friend from Marlborough College), Earl Grosvenor (an aristocratic family friend), Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (former private secretary to the royal couple), Julia Samuel (friend of Princess Diana), William van Cutsem (son of the late Hugh van Cutsem and one of Prince William’s oldest friends) and Prince William’s cousin, Zara Tindall, serving as godparents.
Though the names of the youngest royal's godparents won’t be released until closer to the baby’s christening date, Kate’s sister Pippa and William’s brother, Prince Harry, are favourites by the bookies, as neither were chosen for Prince George.
Other familial choices include cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, who are famously close to the duke and duchess, along with Sophie, Countess of Wessex and the Duchess of Cornwall's two children, Tom Parker Bowles or Laura Lopes.
It’s also suspected that William’s friends, Thomas van Straubenzee, Guy Pelly or various members of the famed “Glosse Posse,” might be asked to participate.
This list reveals the inner court of the Cambridges – siblings, family friends, school and university pals, and cherished royal family members who might be godparents to William and Kate's newest arrival.
Prince Harry: He’s already incredibly close with his nephew and has said that he has plans to ensure George has a “fun” and “good upbringing.” The only reason he would not be chosen is simply that as an uncle, he already has an important role to play. Though it’s quite common to appoint a sibling as a godparent in regular circles, it’s far less common among royals.
Pippa Middleton: The duchess's dear sister was a maid of honour at Kate's wedding. If Harry is chosen this time around, it seems likely that Pippa would also be made a godmother.
James Middleton: The girls' younger brother is another possibility. James is so close to William and Kate that he read at their wedding in 2011.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex: Amongst the in-laws, Kate is arguably closest to Sophie, wife of Prince Edward and sister-in-law to Prince Charles.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall: Kate and William may choose to pay tribute to Camilla by asking one of her children – Tom Parker Bowles or Laura Lopes – to be a godparent.
Peter Philips: Cousin Zara Phillips is a godmother to Prince George so it may be brother Peter Philips’ turn to be named godfather for the newest member of the royal family.
Princess Beatrice & Princess Eugenie: Prince William’s cousins both have a decent shot at being named a godmother.
Thomas van Straubenzee: William's best friend from Ludgrove prep school and Eton married the Duke of Northumberland’s daughter, Lady Melissa Percy of Alnwick Castle, in the society wedding of the year just before Kate gave birth. The two buddies travelled to New Zealand together during their gap years. William and Harry are patrons of a foundation in the name of Thomas' brother Henry, who was killed in a car crash 11 years ago.
Alicia Fox-Pitt: Alicia Fox-Pitt is Kate’s best friend from Marlborough and both women were on the Sisterhood rowing team. Others in the Marlborough set include Hannah Gillingham, Catriona Foyle and Alice St John Webster. These ladies have been BFFs since the age of 14 and all have children about the same age as George.
Guy Pelly: A known rabble-rouser, Guy helped organized William’s bachelor party and is famously tight-lipped about his princely pals. He recently wed Elizabeth Wilson and both Harry and William attended the nuptials.
Harry Soames: The son of Sir Nicholas Soames, a British Member of Parliament. He went to Ludgrove School with the princes. Princess Diana was a close friend of Harry's mother, Catherine Soames – the two families even went on ski trips together.
Rosa Monkton: For George, the duke and duchess chose to honour the late Princess Diana by choosing one of her close friends – Julia Samuel – to be one of the prince's godmothers. Odds are good that the royal couple would again choose another one of Diana's best friends, Rosa Monkton, who now campaigns on behalf of children with learning disabilities.
Emily Hutt (née Emily McCorquodale): Emily is William’s cousin and the daughter of Diana’s older sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale. William has remained close to aunt Lady Sarah, and William and Kate attended Emily's wedding in 2012. Emily is likely to have kids around the same age, which seemed to be a factor in choosing some of Prince George’s godparents.