The royal baby isn't even born yet, and already it's amassed a staff of Palace officials to tend to its every need. But good help only goes so far. When Kate Middleton becomes a mom in July, she'll have the task of selecting a new set of baby minders—the Godparents. It's a decision—like so many others—the royal family doesn't take lightly.
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“Theoretically, the Godparents have to look after the child if anything were to happen to both parents, but that’s very rare and unlikely,” Royal expert Phil Dampier, author of What’s in the Queen’s Handbag and Other Royal Secrets told Yahoo! Shine.
“I would be amazed if Pippa and Harry aren’t named,” says Dampier. “However, it’s likely that Will and Kate will decide to name six or seven godparents, striking a balance between older and younger friends and relations, male and female, and are likely to hold off on asking some friends now so they can approach the rest for their future children.”
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And despite the army of caretakers protecting the royal offspring, there isn’t much protocol when it comes to making the selections. “Ultimately the same factors come in to play as they would for anybody picking godparents - trust, loyalty, dependability,” CNN’s royal contributor Victoria Arbiter Brown told Yahoo! Shine. “The royals just tend to have a lot of godparents. This child is the future heir to the throne so the couple will also want to choose people who can offer guidance, counsel, support, knowledge and wisdom. Godparents are not just figureheads. They play an important role and given the future this child has in store William in particular will want to make sure he or she are surrounded by people who understand and respect the position.”
William himself plays godparent to 15-year-old Prince Konstantine Alexios, son of Crown Prince and Princess Pavlos of Greece and also little Grace van Cutsem, 5, the adorably irritable wedding guest who infamously covered her ears to escape the crowd's loud clapping when she joined the newly married royal couple on the balcony. And back in the ‘80s, Princess Di, chose Sir Laurens Van der Post a 75-year-old South African-born high school dropout turned notable writer and close friend of the royal family to be the godparent of Prince William, a choice that was scrutinized by Royal Watchers (as is often the case) because of Van der Post’s age and foreign origin.
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But Van der Post won everyone over with his impression of Baby William at their first meeting in Kensington Palace, days after Diana gave birth. "He was fast asleep, and the thing that struck me was how manly he looked," Van der Post said back in 1982, according to People Magazine. "It may seem ridiculous to say, but he's a manly little baby."