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Prince William and Kate Middleton expected to break with tradition as they choose godparents

14 OCTOBER 2013 William and Kate are believed to be breaking with tradition by chosing close friends, rather than grandees, to be godparents to their son Prince George.

In keeping with their down-to-earth approach, the couple are thought to have picked friends out of the public eye to fulfil the role their baby boy's godparents.

Among those selected for the honour are William's school friend Fergus Boyd and Kate's Marlborough College friend Emilia d'Erlanger, reports The Sunday Times. 

 

william and kate
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Hugh van Cutsem, one of the Prince's oldest childhood friends, is also tipped for the role of godfather.

Fergus, 31, a partner at fund management firm Smith & Williamson, was in the same St Andrews hall of residence as the couple, and studied history of art with Kate.

The trio moved into a flat together in their second year and all shared the rented farmhouse, Balgove House, during the royal couple's final two years at university.

 

hugh van cutsem
Hugh van Cutsem



Emilia, also 31, is a long-term friend of William as well as a school friend of Kate. The co-founder of London-based interior design company D'Erlanger and Sloan, she is married to William's old Etonian friend David Jardine-Paterson.

Hugh is the best known of the three rumoured godparents with very close links to the royal family. William acted as an usher at Hugh's 2005 wedding to Rose Astor, and is also a godfather to their daughter Grace, who was a flower girl at the royal wedding.

If the couple decide to choose friends as George's godparents, it will be a break with royal tradition. William's godparents at his 1982 christening were named as former King Constantine of Greece, the Duchess of Westminster, Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, Lady Susan Hussey, Lord Romsey and Sir Laurens van der Post.

 

The Chapel Royal
The Chapel Royal in St James's Palace



George's christening ceremony will also eschew tradition. Rather than taking place in the music room at Buckingham Palace, the ceremony will be held in the more intimate Chapel Royal in St James's Palace.

Poignantly, the couple have chosen the chapel where Princess Diana lay at rest before her funeral at Westminster Abbey; a touching tribute from William to his late mother.

The 60-strong guest list for the 23 October ceremony has already sparked controversy because of its omission of Anne, the Princess Royal, and the Countess of Wessex.

 

harry pippa
Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton



Just a handful of the couple's closest family and friends will witness George being baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury after William and Kate decided on an "intimate" ceremony.

Despite the predictions in The Sunday Times, bookmakers are expecting at least one royal godparent.

Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton are currently heavy favourites to be given the honour, with odds of 1-33 and 1-20 respectively at bookmakers Coral.

Others in the running include David Beckham at 10-1, while his wife Victoria Beckham can also be backed at 20-1.

Princess Beatrice and her sister Princess Eugenie also feature in the list of most likely candidates, alongside Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Lord Frederick Windsor, James Middleton and Laura Lopes, the daughter of Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.