Prince George Louis Alexander's christening took place on Wednesday in a brief private ceremony at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace. The baby, who turned 3 months old on Tuesday, looked robust and adorable in a frilly ivory christening robe.
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge selected two hymns, two lessons, and two anthems for the service, and Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton each recited a reading.
Catherine Middleton looked chic and feminine wearing a beautifully tailored ivory coatdress by Alexander McQueen—the same house that designed her wedding gown—featuring a dramatic ruffle down the front, which echoed the lace details on baby George’s robe. She wore a fascinator by Jane Taylor Millinery, tilted elegantly on her head with a swish of netting and a large silk rose. Pippa Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, also wore ivory.
The chapel where the ceremony was held was built by King Henry the VIII and is steeped in history. Royal expert Victoria Arbiter describes it as a warm and intimate space with a strong feeling of spirituality. It has special meaning for Prince William because it was where his mother lay in rest during the days preceding her funeral.Only hours before the ceremony, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revealed the names of the baby's godparents. "It's not a popularity contest or about picking your best friends," Arbiter tells Yahoo Shine. Arbiter says that the godparents have to have a strong commitment to the church, be deeply loyal friends, and be able to guide and support the boy as he grows up. "It really shows William and Kate's most trusted inner circle." While there was some speculation that Prince Harry or Pippa Middleton might be named, Arbiter says that they are already so close to the family as George's uncle and aunt, the choice would have been redundant.
In a slight break with tradition, they chose seven people instead of six, but Arbiter points out there is no hard and fast rule. While Prince William's godparents were all members of the aristocracy, his son George's are a mixture of old friends, confidants, and blue bloods echoing the more diverse group that William and Kate are close with. The godparents:
Olive Baker attended St. Andrews University with the duke and duchess.
Emilia Jardine-Paterson attended Marlborough College with the duchess. She runs an interior design firm under her maiden name, Emilia d'Erlanger, and is said to be helping the couple decorate their home at Kensington Palace.
Earl Grosvenor (first name Hugh) is the son of the Duke of Westminster.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton served as private secretary to William and Kate from 2005 to 2012 and continues to work for the palace part-time.
The Honorable Julia Samuel was a close friend of William's mother, Lady Diana. She founded a nonprofit organization, Child Bereavement UK, which the duke supports.
Zara Tindall William's cousin, is married to former rugby pro Mike Tindall. The couple is expecting their first child around Christmas. Tindall is the only member of the royal family to be chosen as a godparent.
William Van Cutsem is one of William's oldest friends. His father, Hugh, who passed away in September, was a very close friend of Prince Charles.
While William and Kate are more modern and less concerned with rigidly adhering to tradition than royals from generations past, many details of the christening traced back to the time of Queen Victoria, including the lace and white satin christening robe, a handmade replica of one that was created for her first child in 1841. The silver baptismal font, called the Lily Font, was also commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and has been used at every royal christening since.
Unlike the royal wedding, which was attended by about 1,900 guests, the christening was a private, family gathering. Only 22 guests witnessed the event, including Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, the duke and duchess's parents, Prince Harry, Pippa and James Middleton, and the spouses of the selected godparents. The Archbishop of Canterbury performed the baptism. Following the ceremony, the guests moved on to a tea at Clarence House. Refreshments included a tier from the duke and duchess's wedding cake, preserved for the occasion. The original cake had eight tiers and was decorated with 900 flowers painstakingly made of icing, including white roses, daffodils, honeysuckles, daisies, and lavender.
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