Prince George’s Christening to Break with Royal Tradition
(LONDON) — Details about the christening of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child are starting to unfold.
On Tuesday, the official photographer’s name was announced. Jason Bell, known as a cutting edge celebrity photographer, will be taking the official photographs at Clarence House following the service in the Chapel Royal.
While this is Prince William and Kate’s way of applying their take on the monarchy in a perhaps more modern way, they are sticking to some tradition.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Prince George Alexander Louis — also known as baby Cambridge — will be christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Jason Welby, in the historical 16th century Royal Chapel of St. James Palace.
Every royal baby since 1841 has been christened in an intricate lace and satin gown, but in 2004, Queen Elizabeth II decided it was too fragile so she had a replica made, which is what George will be wearing on his big day.
The christening is due to take place before a select number of guests. Only 60 people have been invited to watch the 3-month-old prince get baptized, including senior royals such as the queen, her husband Prince Phillip, grandparents Prince Charles and Camilla and uncle Prince Harry, along with Kate’s immediate family.
Royal reporter Roya Nikkah described how significant this day will be, saying, ”It’s going to be the first time that we’ve seen the whole royal family together with Prince George since he was born in July. It’s also going to be the first time we’ve seen three direct heirs to the throne with William, Charles and Prince George all together.”
The 45-minute christening ceremony is taking place in the afternoon, and breaking with royal tradition, the couple didn’t choose Buckingham Palace where both Charles and William were christened.
The royal couple chose the venue carefully as Nikkah told ABC News: ”The Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace has great significance for both William and Kate. The duchess was confirmed there a couple of years ago after the engagement was announced to William, obviously another step bringing her into the Church of England. But very significantly for William, it was Princess Diana’s resting place the night before she was buried. It’s where her coffin laid the night before she was buried, so of course for William that has great poignancy.”
There will be six godparents, and while their identities are secret, those believed to be in the running include one of William’s oldest friends Hugh van Cutsem. There’s college buddy and former flat mate Fergus Boyd and Kate’s school friend Emilia D’erlanger. Other contenders include Tom van Straubenzee, who is William’s best friend and who shared the speech duties with Harry at the wedding. College friends Oliver Baker and Alasdair Coutts-Wood, and Kate’s school friends Alicia Fox-Pitt, Virginia Fraser and Olivia Bleasdale are also believed to be in the running.
After the christening ceremony, grandparents Charles and Camilla are throwing a little bash next door at Clarence House where guests will be feasting on some of William and Kate’s wedding cake. The couple kept one of the tiers to serve at the reception.
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