Loyal friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex look set to be asked to be godparents to the couple’s first baby.
Harry and Meghan are predicted to turn to their confidantes, many of whom had VIP seats in the Quire of St George’s Chapel at the royal wedding last May, and whose children were their pageboys or bridesmaids.
While the tradition for royal babies used to be to select elderly or foreign relatives for the role, Harry and Meghan appear likely to follow in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s footsteps and opt for friends over family.
Royal infants usually have more than the standard three godparents.
Prince Louis has six, future king Prince George has seven and Princess Charlotte has five.
So who might be asked to be Baby Sussex’s godparents?
– Jessica Mulroney
Meghan’s stylist and best friend, Jessica Mulroney is expected to play an important part in the baby’s life.
She supported Meghan in the difficult days leading up to the wedding amid the turmoil caused by the absence of her father, Thomas Markle.
Mrs Mulroney’s children – twin boys Brian and John, and daughter Ivy – were pageboys and bridesmaid.
She is married to Ben Mulroney, the son of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.
– Benita Litt
The duchess’s close friend, Benita Litt runs her own brand agency and helps others to start businesses.
Meghan has spent Christmas with the Litt family in the past.
She is godmother to Mrs Litt’s daughters, Rylan and Remi, and also chose them to be her bridesmaids.
– Serena Williams
Tennis champion Serena Williams is said to have hosted Meghan’s lavish baby shower in the £57,400-a-night penthouse of the Mark Hotel in New York City.
The pair have been friends since 2010, when they met at a Super Bowl party.
Meghan wrote of Williams on her former lifestyle website The Tig: “She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was traveling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with.”
– Amal Clooney
Hollywood star George Clooney has denied he will be the baby’s godfather, declaring: “No, I’m now a father of twins, I’ve got enough shit. Literally, literally shit.”
He recently claimed that Meghan was being “pursued and vilified” and compared her treatment with that of Diana, Princess of Wales.
But Meghan could ask the actor’s wife, human rights lawyer Amal, who attended her luxury baby shower.
The Sussexes have holidayed with the Clooneys in Italy.
– Oprah Winfrey
Chat show queen Oprah Winfrey was seated in the exclusive Quire seats for the royal wedding, but do Harry and Meghan know her well enough to ask her to be a godparent to their child?
Oprah said she was overcome with emotion during the ceremony, telling British Vogue: “It left me feeling that anything is possible through the power of love.”
She invited Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, to her home ahead of the wedding.
– Abigail Spencer
Former actress Meghan has been friends with Abigail Spencer since they starred together in the US legal drama Suits.
Ms Spencer also used to contribute to Meghan’s lifestyle site.
Fashion designer Misha Nonoo is credited with introducing Harry to his future wife via a blind date.
She had a VIP seat at the royal wedding and used to be married to William and Harry’s friend, Alexander Gilkes.
– Markus Anderson
Markus Anderson is Meghan’s best male friend, and the pair used to holiday together with Ms Nonoo.
Mr Anderson is director of members club Soho House where the couple’s blind date is said to have taken place in the summer of 2016.
“What would I do without you, my loving, supportive, and endlessly fun friend??” Meghan once posted about Mr Anderson.
– Nicholas van Cutsem
It is not just Meghan’s friends who are expected to get a look-in.
The van Cutsems have been long-standing family pals of Harry, William and the Prince of Wales for many years.
Harry might pick Major Nicholas van Cutsem, whose daughter Florence was a bridesmaid at the royal wedding and is Harry’s goddaughter.
Major van Cutsem is already a godfather to Prince Louis.
Harry could choose one of the other van Cutsem brothers – Edward, Hugh, or William, who is one of Prince George’s godfathers.
– Tom Inskip
Tom “Skippy” Inskip has long been considered Harry’s wingman and was at his side during his partying days.
They were childhood friends at Eton and both Harry and Meghan attended Inskip’s wedding to Lara Hughes-Young in Jamaica in 2017.
– Guy Pelly
Dubbed the royal court jester for his wild ways, Guy Pelly, whose family are wealthy Kent landowners, has settled down in recent years, marrying American hotel heiress Elizabeth “Lizzy” Wilson.
He was often cited as a bad influence on the royal brothers in their youth, but was asked to be one of Louis’ godparents.
– Thomas or Charlie van Straubenzee
Harry and William have also been friends with the van Straubenzees for many years, so it is likely Thomas or his brother Charlie might be asked to be godfather.
Thomas van Straubenzee is already godfather to Princess Charlotte, and Harry was said to have been Charlie’s best man at his wedding to Daisy Jenks.
– Prince Seeiso of Lesotho
Prince Seeiso and Harry set up the charity Sentebale together to help impoverished Aids orphans in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho.
They have a strong bond and have been friends for 15 years after Seeiso invited Harry to spend a seminal two months in Lesotho during his gap year.
– Mark Dyer
Harry’s mentor, Mark Dyer has been a key father figure since childhood.
The former Welsh Guards officer, who was an equerry to the Prince of Wales, was tasked by Charles with keeping an eye on Harry in his youth.
They travelled together in Harry’s gap year and he helped arrange Harry’s stay in Lesotho.
His son Jasper – the duke’s godson – was one of Harry and Meghan’s pageboys.
– Jake Warren
Jake Warren is firm friends with Harry and is the son of the Queen’s bloodstock and racing adviser, John Warren.
His daughter, Zalie, was the youngest bridesmaid at the royal wedding and is another of Harry’s godchildren.
– Princess Eugenie
Harry and Meghan may opt to include a royal in the line-up, perhaps choosing the duke’s cousin, Princess Eugenie of York.
Harry and William used to spend ski-ing holidays with the Yorks in the 1990s, and Eugenie is said to have introduced Harry to his ex-girlfriend, Cressida Bonas.
Other potentials include Peter Phillips or Zara Tindall.
– Links to Diana, Princess of Wales
Harry may want to recognise bonds with friends of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
He invited Diana’s former flatmate, Carolyn Bartholomew, and one of her best friends, Julia Samuel, who is also a godmother to George, to his wedding.
Or perhaps he might choose someone from Diana’s Spencer family – possibly her sisters Lady Sarah McQuorquodale or Lady Jane Fellowes.
– Tiggy Pettifer
Harry’s much-loved former nanny Tiggy Legge Bourke, now Tiggy Pettifer, has played a significant role in his life.
She even once described William and Harry as ”my babies”.
Tiggy helped care for the princes following the death of their mother in 1997.