The Surprising Reason Royal Babies Have So Many Godparents

Prince William and Kate Middleton made headlines a few years ago when they shared the number of godparents they had chosen for their son, Prince George. When the couple continued the trend with more than two godparents for their daughter, Princess Charlotte, many started to wonder if there was a reason behind the large party.

Apparently, it's standard practice to ask many people to be the godparents of royal children, Bustle notes. The outlet reports that Prince George boasts seven of these individuals who are meant to guide him through life — particularly through royal life. Furthermore, Princess Charlotte has five godparents on her side. Each is a conglomerate of their parents' friends and family, representing both sides of their lives. Robert Jobson, royal editor of The Evening Standard, told ABC News that, "There's a feeling that because of their role as members of the royal family that they need as many confidants as they can get apart from their parents."

The outlet notes that royal babies usually have around six godparents for this reason. As for William and Kate, many assumed that the couple wanted to make their choices reflect their modern viewpoints with friends and family members outside of the royal establishment.

Royal godparents are usually not within the family

Beyond just offering advice to their godson or goddaughter, the royal godparents are expected to guide them through royal life. But, unlike many people's godparents, the royal kind are usually not immediate family members. Victoria Murphy, royal correspondent for The Daily Mirror, explains to ABC News, "Tradition for godparents is not to choose members of the family, certainly not the immediate family."

While Kate's sibling Pippa Middleton was rumored to be in the running for the coveted spot, the couple stuck with tradition in veering away from those in their nuclear family. For instance, Zara Tindall, Prince William's cousin, is Prince George's godmother, and her brother was expected to be one of Princess Charlotte's godparents as well, the outlet notes. Instead, William and Kate selected his cousin from his mother's side, Laura Fellowes, to do the honors as the little princess' godmother, Bustle reports.

"It's an important role. A godparent is there to provide religious guidance. It's also somebody who is there other than a parent or family member that a child could turn to," royal expert Victoria Arbiter said to Hello!. While there's no explicit reason for the numerous godparents, it appears that the royal children are surrounded by supporters very early on in life. Luckily for the Cambridge children, they have doting parents as well.