Princess Kate and Prince William are welcoming well-wishers to share their special occasion on Sunday

By Simon Perry
June 29, 2015 11:55 AM
Neil Mockford/GC Images

Get ready for a red, white and royal weekend.

Three-month-old Princess Charlotte will be christened on July 5, and on Monday the palace released a statement inviting well-wishers to take part in the fun.

“The Duke and Duchess are hugely grateful for the warm wishes they have received since Princess Charlotte’s birth – many of them from local people in Norfolk – and are delighted the paddock can be opened on the day of the christening,” said the statement.

The service itself will be a private one, but fans who turn out will get a special treat: Prince George is set to walk a few hundred yards to church.

Weather permitting, the royal toddler, who turns 2 on July 22, will join his parents, Prince William and Princess Kate, as they stroll to St. Mary Magdalene church on the Sandringham estate for the baptism. It’s a similar walk to the one the royal family undertakes every Christmas.

The celebration promises to be what one royal source tells PEOPLE will be a “happy, family day in the country.” The source adds, “It is something they are looking forward to sharing with the local community.”

The church, which is only two miles from the couple’s country home, Anmer Hall, carries more poignancy as it is also where William’s late mother, Princess Diana, was baptized.

Along with the yet-to-be-named godparents, who are likely to be mainly chosen from the couple’s closest friends, the christening party will include Charlotte’s grandparents on both sides: Michael and Carole Middleton and Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Leading the royal family will be Queen Elizabeth, 89, who will be there with husband Prince Philip, 94. As she does at Christmas, the Queen is expected to take a short car ride to the gates of the church.

The service will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby. He will be supported by The Reverend Canon Jonathan Riviere, the Rector of the Sandringham group of parishes, the palace says.

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