Why the Queen and Prince Philip are not going to Prince Louis’ christening

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will not attend Prince Louis of Cambridge’s christening this afternoon.

The announcement was made this morning ahead of the special ceremony at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace in central London at 4pm.

The 11-week-old royal will be joined by his parents’ close friends and relatives.

But his great-grandmother the Queen, and her husband Prince Philip, will not be among the guests.

A royal source said it was agreed some time ago that 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth would not attend the small, family affair.

Her absence is not due to any health issues, the source confirmed.

Queen Elizabeth, the world’s oldest and longest-reigning living monarch, did miss a special service last month because she was feeling "under the weather" but she has carried out a number of public engagements since then.

The monarch is due to return to London today ahead of a busy schedule of events including the RAF Centenary event tomorrow and a meeting with US President Donald Trump on Friday.

On top of this, the Queen was reportedly working "flat out" in Scotland last week.

It would seem she is simply not attending the christening due to work commitments.

Her decision not to attend was mutually agreed with William and Kate, while Philip has avoided public events – unless he really has to – since his retirement in 2017.

He will remain in Norfolk this week.

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Kensington Palace said William’s father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla would be present along with younger brother Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle .

Also attending are Kate’s parents, her brother and sister and Prince Louis’ six godparents , who are close friends or relatives of William and Kate.

They include Kate’s cousin Lucy Middleton, Nicholas van Cutsem, whose daughter was a bridesmaid at May’s wedding of Harry and Meghan, and Guy Pelly, a childhood friend of William’s.

"I’m delighted and privileged to be christening Prince Louis today – a precious child made in God’s image, just as we all are," Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said on Twitter.

"Please join me in praying for him and his family on this special day."

Louis will wear the handmade replica of the Royal Christening Robe, which in 2008 replaced the original which had been worn for all christenings since that of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841.

The young prince, who has an older brother George, four, and sister Charlotte, three, will also be baptised using water from the River Jordan.

The ceremony will be the first time the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children have been seen together.

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