A beaming Duchess of Cambridge cradled Prince Louis in her arms as she carried him home following his christening on Monday afternoon.

Proud mother Kate, 36, gazed adoringly at her 11-week-old son as she left intimate service at Chapel Royal at St James's Palace, London, alongside a select group of family and close friends.

A beaming Duchess of Cambridge with her third child, Prince Louis. Photo / Getty Images
A beaming Duchess of Cambridge with her third child, Prince Louis. Photo / Getty Images

By her side was her husband the Duke of Cambridge, 36, who held hands with their oldest children Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, three, as they made their first public appearance as a family-of-five.

READ MORE: • Princess Charlotte's cheeky comment to photographers caught on camera

Advertisement

The family led guests including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the chapel and to Clarence House, where they will host a private afternoon tea.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their three children. Photo / Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their three children. Photo / Getty Images

Also present were Prince Louis' six godparents and family members including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Michael and Carole Middleton, and James and Pippa Matthews.

Notably absent were the Queen, 92, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, who were forced to miss their great-grandson's christening due to a packed royal schedule.

Kate arrived holding a sleeping Prince Louis in her arms, while William looked after Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Louis was dressed in the cream, frilly lace royal christening gown - a replica of the intricate robe made for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter in 1841.

The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed the royals outside the chapel, bending down to greet George and Charlotte. William encouraged George and Charlotte to 'shake hands' with Justin Welby and praised his daughter when she dutifully obeyed.

The Archbishop, who christened and confirmed the Duchess of Sussex and conducted the royal wedding in May, eagerly greeted Harry and Meghan.

The trio exchanged a little banter about the nuptials, prompting a laugh from Meghan.

Advertisement
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex leave after the christening service.
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex leave after the christening service.

Proud aunt Pippa Middleton displayed her blooming baby bump in a powder blue dress as she made her way into the service alongside her husband James Matthews, 42.

She was earlier spotted heading to the service alongside her cousin Lucy Middleton, who was today named as one of Louis' six godparents.

The others selected to guide the young prince in his spiritual life Nicholas van Cutsem, Guy Pelly, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, The Lady Laura Meade, and Hannah Carter.

The godparents arrived ahead of the family, shortly before the service at 4pm.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a dress by her go-to designer Alexander McQueen for the occasion, finishing the look with a hat by Jane Taylor.

Her sister-in-law the Duchess of Sussex wore Ralph Lauren with a hat by Stephen Jones while the Duchess of Cornwall wore Fiona Clare and a hat by Locke.

Proud grandmother Carole Middleton wore a hat by London-based milliner Juliette Botterill.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh missed the small family affair. The decision is understood not to have been taken on health grounds, and to have been mutually agreed by the Queen and the Cambridges some time ago.