As hard as it might be to top his highly-anticipated debut on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London following his birth in April, Prince Louis made his second-ever public appearance for his christening at the Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace Monday, marking the first time the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been seen with all three of their children. Cameras eagerly captured photos of the family of five arriving at the chapel, along with the families and friends, but it's the royal family portraits from Prince Louis' christening that everyone really wanted to see. And on Sunday, July 15, Kensington Palace finally released the stunning shots.
While young Louis may have unfortunately missed out on having his great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, present for his first royal portrait — they were absent for scheduling reasons — the photos were still impressive. And the beautiful, love-filled shots also showed just how much the family has grown in the last five years.
The family portraits were shot following the christening ceremony by British photographer Matt Holyoak, who had previously photographed the Queen and Prince Phillip in honor of the 70th wedding anniversary, according to the Daily Mail. As with Prince George's christening portraits, which were shot by photographer Jason Bell, Prince Louis' photos were taken at Clarence House, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hosted a private tea for their guests following the ceremony, according to the Daily Mail.
Yet while Prince George may only be 5 years old, it's clear that a fair bit has changed since his own christening back in 2013. For one, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are far from being brand new parents — while they were likely still settling into parenthood when the first set of portraits were taken, they're now seasoned parents of three (and dad Prince William definitely no longer has the option to sit alone).
Here's Prince George's From 2013
Here's Princess Charlotte's From 2015
Then there are the other new family members. While the Queen and Prince Phillip may not have made it, both Prince Harry and Kate's sister, Pippa Middleton, both brought their spouses and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex appears beside her husband in the newest royal family portrait, while Pippa's husband, James Matthews is also included (the couple will be expecting their first child together later this year).
It's always nice to see glimpses of the royals here and there, of course, but it seems that the family portraits are the best — and sweetest — way to see how the royal family is evolving.
Prince Louis' Christening Photos Are *Stunning*
As with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the formal family portrait hasn't been the only one released by Kensington Palace though. Just as Bell, and Princess Charlotte's christening photographer, Mario Testino, did before him, Holyoak took some additional, more candid photos of the young prince with his parents and siblings, and they've captured the beautiful young family perfectly.
Unfortunately though, now that Prince Louis' christening has officially come and gone, it might be a while before we have the opportunity to see the whole family again. The Duke and Duchess chose to keep both of their older children largely out of the spotlight during their first year, with the exception of sharing a few photos, and it seems reasonable to expect they'll do the same with Prince Louis. But seeing all three of the Cambridge children together has definitely been pretty special. And chances are, they will all just get even cuter as the youngest royal grows.