Watching a small child totter down the aisle as bridesmaid or pageboy is a proud moment for any parent. It is also fraught with nerves over what exactly they might do during their moment in the spotlight.
Spare a thought, then, for the Duchess of Cambridge, who has confided she is a little nervous about how Prince George, three, and his two-year-old sister Princess Charlotte may behave during their star turn in Pippa Middleton’s wedding.
The Duchess, who appeared at the first garden party of the season at Buckingham Palace, told a visitor she was “really looking forward” to this Saturday’s wedding, but warned “you never know” quite what children their age might do.
Prince George will be a pageboy while Princess Charlotte will be a bridesmaid at the wedding
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are to take the roles of pageboy and bridesmaid at the wedding of their aunt, Pippa Middleton, to James Matthews.
They will walk with her at St Mark’s Church, Englefield, on Saturday, with the Duke and Duchess and grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton watching on proudly.
The Duchess, who wore an outfit by Christopher Kane and matching hat by Lock & Co, spoke to Andrew Bates and his wife Janet.
They were among 8,000 guests at the Buckingham Palace garden party attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of Kent, Princess Beatrice, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
The family will attend the wedding at St Mark's church in Englefield
Vagner Vidal /INS
After discussing the Middleton-Matthews wedding with the Duchess, Mr Bates, 55, from Coventry said: “She said that they were all really looking forward to her sister’s wedding at the weekend but she was a bit worried about how her children might behave.
“She said she was hopeful that they would be good but you never know at that age.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Queen, Princess Anne, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Beatrice were all at the party
Mr Bates was invited to the garden party in recognition of 28 years of hard work looking after the sound for the Queen’s speech and other major royal events.
Elsewhere at the party, the Duke of Edinburgh greeted guests at one of the final garden parties of his working life.
The Duke of Edinburgh was at the Royal garden party
When the Duke met Peter Chapman-Andrews, who has recently stepped down as the director of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and his wife Michele, they shared a joke about his retiring from the organisation.
Mr Chapman-Andrews, who said the Duke was the organisation’s patron, said: "We talked about the fact I’ve recently retired and he asked me what I was going to do now.
"And my wife said ‘as little as possible’ and we had a laugh at that."
Earlier in the day, the Duke of Cambridge had also spoken about his two children, as he bonded with patients at the Royal Marsden Hospital.
The Queen welcomed guests to Buckingham Palace
Victoria Jones /AFP
In the play room of the hospital’s children’s unit, the Oak Centre for Children & Young People, which the Cambridges opened in September 2011, the Duke chatted to Charlie Miller, a three-year-old leukaemia patient glueing in stickers.
"Very impressive glueing,” the Duke told him. “George likes doing his stickers. He is big into his stickers. He likes dinosaurs. Do you like dinosaurs, Charlie?"
When he met six-year-old Sebastian Gamble-Banas, who was concentrating hard on his Nintendo DS Star Wars game the Duke reassured his mother: "I have exactly the same thing with George. He’s engrossed.”