By Belinda Goldsmith
LONDON | Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:21am EDT
LONDON (Reuters) - Just 21 guests were invited to the christening of Britain's Prince George on Wednesday, a sign of how much his parents intend to guard the privacy of a baby born to be king.
Prince William, whose mother Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997, hounded by paparazzi, and his wife Kate only invited very close family members and godparents, according to a guest list released ahead of the 3 p.m.
(1400 GMT) ceremony.
Queen Elizabeth, her husband Prince Philip, heir to the throne Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, and William's brother Harry will attend the service in which Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will baptize the three-month old baby with water from the River Jordan.
Although the christening will be held behind closed doors, in the Chapel Royal of St. James's Palace, well-wishers gathered outside, hoping to see guests arriving at the 16th century building in central London commissioned by King Henry VIII.
Millions of people watched coverage of the couple in July as they left the hospital with their son, the only public sighting of George since his birth on July 22.
The parents named six friends and William's cousin Zara Phillips as godparents, a break with the tradition of choosing royal dignitaries to take on the ceremonial role, continuing their effort to portray a more informal, modern image to austerity-hit Britons.
Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and her sister Pippa were due to be among the guests.