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Royals gather for Prince Louis christening

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By Claire Heffron  with Reuters
Royals gather for Prince Louis christening

Prince Louis, the third child of Britain’s Prince William and wife Kate, has been christened at a small, private ceremony overseen by close family.

Louis, the fifth in line to the British throne who was born on April 23, was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury at The Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace in central London.

But 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip were not among the guests. A royal source said it had been agreed some time ago that the queen would not attend and her absence was not due to any health issues.

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

The monarch was due to return to London on Monday ahead of a busy schedule of events, including a meeting with US President Donald Trump on Friday at her Windsor Castle home.

Prince Louis was carried into the chapel by his beaming mother wearing the handmade replica of the Royal Christening Robe, which in 2008 replaced the original which had been worn for all royal christenings since that of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841.

“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 Justin Welby said on Twitter before the ceremony. “Please join me in praying for him and his family on this special day.”