IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Prince William and Kate likely won't be godparents to their new niece — here's why

Royal experts suspect that Prince William won't be on the list of potential godparents for Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
/ Source: TODAY

Will any of Prince Harry's immediate family members serve as godparents to his new daughter? According to several royal experts, it's not very likely.

On Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, and royal watchers everywhere are eagerly awaiting a photo of the newborn. They've also begun speculating about who Lili's godparents will be.

In many families, aunts and uncles often take on this special role, so Prince William would seem like a logical fit. But according to the royal experts that TODAY spoke with, William will most likely not be a godparent to Lili.

"Lots of rumors about who the godparents are going to be, and I can tell you it won't be William. Now that's because the royals don't do siblings as godparents," NBC royals commentator and journalist Daisy McAndrew said on TODAY Monday.

Case in point: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge didn't select Harry to be a godfather to any of their three children. Instead, they selected a mix of family and friends.

Harry and the former Meghan Markle never officially announced the names of son Archie's godparents when he was christened in July 2019, but a Times of London story from January 2020 revealed two of their names.

The first is Tiggy Pettifer, who used to be William and Harry's nanny, and the second is Mark Dyer, one of Harry's mentors who used to work for Prince Charles.

"I think when you look back at who they chose for Archie, these were the old nanny, the old father figure, very British people. And I suspect this time around they'll be full of Americans, and I think that'll be yet another departure from their old life to their new life," McAndrew said.

Many people have two godparents, but royals expert Marlene Koenig told TODAY that royal babies can have between five and eight godparents.

While Koenig declined to speculate on who Lili's godparents will be, she did say that she wouldn't be surprised if some of the couple's American friends are on the list now that the couple has relocated to California.

"You're more likely to have a relationship with your godparent if they're close friends with the family," she explained. "I think they'll choose people who will have roles in their lives as mentors, as adopted uncles, as friends."

Now that the couple has officially stepped away from their royal duties, Koenig said it's quite possible that they won't have a christening for their second child, or that they might wait a while and host a private ceremony.

Either way, Koenig would be surprised if either the Duke or Duchess of Cambridge were named godparents.

"That would send tongues wagging," she said. "But it would also perhaps be a good way to begin the healing of tension between the two brothers right now."