London aldermen, judges, knights of the  Privy Council and various viscounts, barons and earls were in attendance, led by the great court figures of the queen’s chamberlain, the earl of Dorset (whose wife was appointed lady governess to the royal nursery), the earl of Lindsey and the lord chamberlain, the earl of Pembroke. These were names mostly from the old noble families of Tudor times and their continuing influence represented a conscious effort on the part of Charles I to maintain links with the Elizabethan age, which seemed to him to represent the ideal of a relationship between monarchy, aristocracy and common people. Prince James, whose Catholicism would become a bugbear to his elder brother many years later, began life with godparents of unimpeachable Protestantism, the Dutch prince of Orange and the prince palatine, son of Charles I’s sister, Elizabeth of Bohemia, herself James’s godmother. Elizabeth, countess of Kent, carried the baby, a role which would have pleased her grandmother, the famous Bess of Hardwick. As a statement of the enduring importance of the nobility, the christening of Prince James madea powerful impact. . .James, duke of York, the second son, a fair, blue-eyed child and his mother’s favourite, was born in November 1633. James’s arrival was greeted with a christening ceremony that befitted his rank and role as the additional heir, coming close to that of Prince Charles in its solemnity and pomp. A procession of heralds,

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