• Prince Louis' official royal christening photos are here! See them all

    By: USA Today

    Updated:

    Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge released the official photograph of the christening of their third child, baby Prince Louis, on Sunday amidst a chorus of cooing from royal fans.

    All babies are cute, the saying goes, but royal babies are especially adorable, even in the context of official, for-the-history-books photographs.

    Noted portrait photographer Matt Holyoak clicked the shutter on the four portraits, which show the baby, born April 23, in the royal lace christening gown (a replica of the 1841 original worn by Queen Victoria's eldest daughter) and surrounded by both his families, Windsor and Middleton. 

    The photos were taken July 9 in the Morning Room and garden of Clarence House.

    The baby is fifth in line to the throne.

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    Pictured are the baby's parents and his siblings, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 3, and both sets of grandparents, including Prince Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall, and Carole and Michael Middleton.

    Also there: His uncle Prince Harry and his wife, Duchess Meghan of Sussex, his aunt Pippa Middleton Matthews and her husband, James Matthews, and his uncle James Middleton. 

    Missing: His great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The prince, 97, has retired from public life and the queen was traveling after a busy week in Scotland.

    Also in attendance on July 9 were the six godparents named just hours before the christening in the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace in London.

    Nicholas van Cutsem, one of William and Harry's oldest friends; Guy Pelly, another longtime chum who married an American in Memphis in a 2014 wedding attended by William and Harry; Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, another old friend of William's; Lady Laura Meade, the daughter of an earl who married one of William's closest friends from Eton, James Meade, who is a godparent to Princess Charlotte; Hannah Carter, an old school friend of Kate's and sister-in-law to one of Princess Charlotte's godparents; and Lucy Middleton, Kate's cousin, whose brother, Adam Middleton, is a godparent to Princess Charlotte.

    The gown worn by Louis in the photos is a near-exact replica of the garment that was first worn by Princess Victoria. Inspired by the design of Queen Victoria's wedding dress and believed to have been made of the same silk and lace, the garment was worn by 62 royal babies at their christenings over the next 163 years, including Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry.

    After the christening of Lady Louise Windsor in 2004, the original gown was deemed too fragile, and in 2008, Queen Elizabeth II's dresser, Angela Kelly, and Buckingham Palace's team of dressmakers created a new garment for future royal christenings.

    The first baby to wear the new gown was James, Lady Louise's younger brother, in 2008. Since then, it's been worn by Louis' siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as other royal offspring. 

    Early Monday morning, Kensington Palace released an additional photo snapped after Louis' christening. In the image taken by photographer Matt Porteous, the young prince's face is illuminated by a smile, mirroring his mother's. 

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