Prince Louis has six godparents which feels like a lot, mostly because it’s four more than is customary.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appointed six people, a mixture of friends and family, to look over little Louis.
They include Nicholas van Custem, a close friend of the royal family, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, a school friend of William’s, Laura Meade, the wife of one of William’s closest friends, Hannah Carter, a school friend of Kate’s, Lucy Middleton, the Duchess’ cousin, and of course, Guy Pelly, once named the ‘court jester’ because of his excessive drinking and ‘wild ways’, which were said to be a very bad influence on William and Harry.
But we have a feeling that these six men and women are frantically googling ‘what the hell are godparents meant to do?’. Especially Mr Pelly who is wondering how soon is too soon to buy his buddy Louis his first beer.
That’s not your job, Mr Pelly.
So, what exactly is the role of godparents? Are you meant to teach them things about… religion? Do you have to… buy them presents? Is there a… manual?
A godparent, according to Baptism: A User’s Guide, is a person chosen by the parents to look over and take interest in their child’s upbringing. Traditionally, they were also the people entrusted to take care of the child if anything should ever happen to both parents.
In early Christianity, the function of the godparents was also, according to Father William Saunders, to “attest to the integrity of the person… seeking admission into the Church.”
By the 5th century, male godparents were referred to as ‘spiritual fathers’, guiding children through their own spiritual enlightenment.
The role developed into more of an honorary one, where the godparent is expected to stay connected and involved with their godchild throughout their life.