Today is a big day for Prince George. The son of Kate Middleton and Prince William took part in his first royal event as he was christened at St. James's Palace in London in front of an intimate group of royals and family friends. While the christening is traditionally a private, family affair, we've gathered up details about the landmark event for the future King of England.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the seven — yes, seven — godparents for Prince George just a few hours before their son's christening. They include:
- Zara Tindall, William's cousin and daughter of Princess Anne.
- Oliver Baker, one of William and Kate's college friends from St Andrews.
- Emilia Jardine-Paterson, one of Kate's school friends from Marlborough College.
- Earl Grosvenor, a family friend and the son of the Duke of Westminster. At 22, he is the youngest of the godparents.
- Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William and Kate's principal private secretary and the former secretary of Prince Harry.
- Julia Samuel, one of Princess Diana's close friends.
- William van Cutsem, William's childhood friend.
Only 22 guests attended the private ceremony at the Chapel Royal in St. James's Palace. They included the queen; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Charles; Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Harry; Carole Middleton; Michael Middleton; Pippa Middleton; and James Middleton. Despite previous reports, Harry and Pippa did not bring any plus-ones to the event.
The 45-minute ceremony included two hymns, two lessons, and two anthems. The hymns were "Breathe on Me, Breath of God" and "Be Thou My Vision." The lessons were from St. Luke ch. 18, verses 15-17, read by Pippa, and St. John ch. 15, verses 1-5, read by Harry. The anthems were "Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand" and "The Lord Bless You and Keep You." Prince William's parents selected "Blessed Jesu!" for his christening back in 1982. The anthems were performed by The Choir of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal.
The Christening Gown
As previously reported, George wore a replica of the royal christening robe that was made by Angela Kelly. The robe is an exact replica of the robe that was used in 1841 to christen Queen Victoria's firstborn. The original gown was used to christen every royal baby until 2004, when a replica was made due to the deterioration of the fabric. Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor was the last child to get christened in the original gown, and the replica was first used in 2008 to christen Prince Edward's children, James and Sophie.
George was christened in the Lily Font, a silver baptismal font that has been used for the christening of every royal baby since the birth of Queen Victoria's daughter Victoria. He was blessed with water from the River Jordan. He was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.
Kate wore a cream-colored Alexander McQueen ensemble with a matching hat by Jane Taylor. Her sister, Pippa, matched in a similarly colored frock.
Following the service, William and Kate hosted a private tea at Clarence House, where Charles and Camilla live. The guests were served slices of a tier taken from Kate and William's wedding cake. Royal expert Jerramy Fine told us that William and Kate have saved three tiers from their wedding cake, so the other tiers may be used for future babies.
When Can I See the Photos?
Celebrity photographer Jason Bell was selected to take the official christening portrait today, although the photo may not be released until Thursday. Hopefully, we may even get to see video of the christening or the afterparty. Back in 1984, Prince Harry's christening bash was captured on video, giving the people a look into the private lives of the royal family. See the video below.
Be sure to check out more milestones from Prince George's first year.