Prince George christened; William and Kate name seven godparents
Prince George, the firstborn son of Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was christened in London on Wednesday.
The increasingly handsome 3-month-old baby boy, who will eventually be named the head of the Church of England when he is crowned, was christened during a private ceremony at the Chapel Royal in London’s St. James’s Palace.
Four generations of the royal family and a small group of family and friends, including the future monarch’s seven godparents, joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the ceremony, which was conducted by Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, according to World Now.
Wills, 31, wearing a dark suit and blue tie, arrived carrying his son, who gave his first royal wave to the crowd. The tiny prince, whose full name is George Alexander Louis, was dressed up in a hand-sewn replica of a christening gown first worn by the daughter of Queen Victoria in 1841. It was the same robe William wore during his christening in 1982, the Telegraph reported.
The former Kate Middleton, also 31, smiled on her way to the chapel and wore a cream-colored dress from Alexander McQueen -- the same fashion house that created her iconic wedding gown in 2011 -- and closely matched her young son. The duchess also donned a fascinator by milliner Jane Taylor, according to the Associated Press.
Queen Elizabeth II attended the 3 p.m. ceremony in an all-blue ensemble, and was joined by her husband Prince Philip, their son and William’s father, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla, and Charles’ younger son Prince Harry. Catherine’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, and her siblings, Pippa and James, also attended the service. William’s cousin, Zara Tindall, the daughter of the queen’s second child, Princess Anne, also attended and was the only royal named a godparent.
The other six godparents are friends and aides to the couple: Oliver Baker, a friend from St. Andrews University; Emilia Jardine-Paterson, who went to high school with Kate; Hugh Grosvenor, the son of the Duke of Westminster; Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former private secretary to the couple; Julia Samuel, described as a close friend of Princess Diana; and William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of William, the Associated Press said.
Kate’s younger sister, Pippa, read a passage from the Gospel of St. Luke and William’s brother, Prince Harry, read from the Gospel of St. John.
The hymns “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” and “Be Thou My Vision” were also sung during the ceremony. The hymns and reading were selected by William and Kate.
George, third in line to the British throne, was blessed with water from the River Jordan, the river where Christians believe Jesus Christ was baptized, palace officials said.
George’s parents broke with tradition when they selected the Chapel Royal, which is believed to be sentimental to William because it is where he and his brother privately paid their respects to their late mother, Princess Diana, before her funeral in 1997.
King Henry VIII had the chapel built in 1540 and decorated by Hans Holbein to honor his short-lived marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. The last member of the royal family to be christened there was William’s cousin Princess Beatrice in 1988.
The queen, Prince Charles and Prince William were all christened at Buckingham Palace. Harry, now fourth in line to the throne after George’s birth, was baptized at St. George’s chapel in Windsor Castle.
The short and private ceremony was a departure from the hoopla that surrounded William and Kate’s royal wedding in April 2011. However, that didn’t stop onlookers from camping out during a rainy night to catch a glimpse of the royal family on their way into and out of the palace, or royal odds-makers from taking bets on such things as the color of the queen’s hat, whether George would cry while being anointed and who would be carrying him on the way out, the Telegraph said.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla hosted a private gathering for tea at their London home, Clarence House, after the service.
The occasion was also marked by the Royal Mint with a series of commemorative coins honoring the little prince.
Photographer Jason Bell was appointed by the Duke and Duchess to take official photos at the ceremony, including a highly anticipated picture of Queen Elizabeth and her three direct heirs. The photographs are expected to be released Thursday.
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