The Royal Christening

 

Now that the dust has settled following the Christening of Prince George in the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, we can look back on a ceremony that reflects both tradition and informality in equal measure.

William and Kate kept the occasion as simple and low-key as is possible when Christening a future king of Great Britain. They broke with tradition and, as well as holding the ceremony away from Buckingham Palace, they avoided the usual assortment of minor European Royals and unknown aristocracy on the list of godparents and stuck to close friends and family.

The godparents included:

Zara Tindall (Princess Anne’s daughter – William’s cousin)

Emilia Jardine-Paterson (A school friend of Kate)

Oliver Baker (A university friend of both William and Kate)

Julia Samuel (A close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales)

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (William and Harry’s private secretary)

William van Cutsem (A long term friend of William)

Earl Grosvenor (Heir to the Duke of Westminster)

 

The names given to Prince George at his Christening (George Alexander Louis) carry the weight of both national and family history. The name George has been associated with the crown since 1714. The last George on the throne was George VI, the Queen’s father (Prince George’s Great, Great Grandfather). George VI was actually Christened Albert Frederick Arthur George, but he took his last name for use as Sovereign.

“Alexander” is a less obvious choice, but it might be a tribute to the Queen whose second name is Alexandra. It has been suggested that the name also includes a nod to Scotland where Alexander III is considered, as Sellar & Yeatman would have it, a “Good King”.

“Louis” is a name George shares with his father, William Arthur Phillip Louis, but it was probably more likely that the name was given to recognise the Duke of Edinburgh’s uncle and Prince Charles’s mentor, Lord Louis Mountbatten.

The post-Christening shindig was hosted by Prince George’s grandparents, Prince Charles and Camilla, at their London residence, Clarence House. The four official portraits were taken here in the Morning Room by Jason Bell. One photograph is particularly eye-catching and pretty unique – an image of George, William, Charles & The Queen. Four generations on, or destined for, the throne.

Two other little known facts:

He wasn’t baptised in just any old water. The water in the font at the Chapel Royal came from the River Jordan.

The most unusual Christening gift so far? A wildflower meadow in Transylvania.

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