This afternoon, Prince George was christened in intimate ceremony in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace in front of his proud parents, and close friends and family.
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Among the first to arrive at the chapel were Carole and Michael Middleton, with their son James, and daughter, Pippa.
The young prince arrived being carried by a beaming William, and wearing a replica of the 172-year-old Honiton lace royal christening robe in which the Duke was himself christened.
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The service began at around 3pm. Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton were chosen to read passages during the service. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby used water from the River Jordan and made the sign of the cross on Prince George’s forehead. The Archbishop then trickled water on baby George’s head three times to symbolize the Holy Trinity. Prince George, by all accounts, was completely unfazed. It lasted around 35 minutes and when it came to an end Philip and the Queen were the first to leave.
After the service the christening party walked the short distance across a courtyard to Clarence House for a champagne reception hosted by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, where they were offered slices of one of the tiers of the Duke and Duchess’s wedding cake, saved for the occasion.
The Duchess of Cambridge once again chose London fashion label Alexander McQueen for the occasion. The jacket is a modified version of the ‘White Ivory Wave Ruffle Jacket’ ($3,975) for their 2012 ready to wear line. The leaf crepe jacket features a wave ruffle panel running front and back and up the closure of the jacket, rounded padded shoulders and silk lining.
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Russell & Bromley
Completing her outfit, Kate accessorized with a velour felt ‘Georgie’ beret with delicate silk/organza rose & classic veiling trim by Jane Taylor (£755), her beige Russell & Bromley Park Avenue Platform Court (£165), and her Kiki McDonough citrine drop earrings.
*How many guests were invited?
Only 22 guests were invited to today’s service.
*Who are the god parents?
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Zara Tindall, William’s cousin and Princess Anne’s daughter
Emilia Jardine-Paterson, who was at Marlborough College with the Duchess
William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of the Duke
The couple’s university friend Oliver Baker
William and Harry’s Private Secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton
The Duke of Westminster’s son Hugh Grosvenor
Julia Samuel, an old friend of Princess Diana’s
*What is the history behind Prince George’s christening gown?
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George wore an ivory gown made of delicate Honiton lace and ivory satin with bows and high collar. It was an exact replica of the original which was designed for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, in 1841. The replica was made by the queens dressmaker Angela Kelly and was used for the first time in 2008 for Viscount James, son of Edward and Sophie.
*Who created the original christening gown?
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Seamstress Janet Sutherland who was the daughter of a Scottish coal miner. Victoria commissioned her to make the gown and resemble the wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria for her marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840.
*Who was the last to wear the original?
Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, was the last royal to wear the tiny gown in 2004.
*What other traditions started with Queen Victoria and have been continued in royal christenings?
Daily Mail/EJ and W Barnard
Along with the gown, Victoria and Albert started another tradition for their daughter’s christening when they ordered a new baptismal font, made of silver gilded with gold and decorated with water lilies (a symbol of purity) and putti with harps. The font, which is displayed with the rest of the Crown jewels at the Tower of London when not needed by the house of Windsor, has been used at every subsequent royal christening (except Princess Eugenie who was baptized at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham in 1990). And, by tradition, the holy water comes from the Jordan River.
The silver gilt font was made by silversmiths EJ and W Barnard and cost £189 9s 4d when it was commissioned. Now, it is priceless.