News / Europe

Prince William, Kate Hold Private Christening for New Prince

  • Kate, Duchess of Cambridge carries her son Prince George after his christening at the Chapel Royal in St. James's Palace in London, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • Britain's Prince William, Kate Duchess of Cambridge with their son Prince George arrive at Chapel Royal in St James's Palace in London, for the christening of the three month-old Prince George, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • Britain's Prince William, holds his son Prince George as they arrive at Chapel Royal in St James's Palace in London, for the christening of the three month-old Prince, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive with their son Prince George for his christening at St. James's Palace in London, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • Royal fans wait outside St. James's Palace, in the hope of catching a glimpse of members of the British royal family who will be attending the christening of Prince George in London, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • A royal fan stands outside St. James's Palace before the christening of Prince George in London, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • A royal fan stands outside St. James's Palace before the christening of Prince George in London, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • Britain's Prince Charles arrives for the christening of Prince George at St. James's Palace in London, Oct. 23, 2013.
  • A Grenadier Guard marches past the stained glass windows of the Chapel Royal outside St. James's Palace, in London, Oct. 23, 2013.

The Christening of Prince George

Reuters
— Britain's Prince George was christened on Wednesday in a service attended by just 21 guests, a small and private ceremony for a baby whose parents want to shield him from too much media intrusion.

Prince William, whose mother Diana was hounded by paparazzi and died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, and his wife Kate invited only very close family and godparents to the ceremony in the 16th century St. James's Palace in central London.

Television pictures gave the public the first glimpse of the baby - third-in-line to the throne - since his parents carried him out of the London hospital where he was born on July 22.

 In the arms of his mother as she left the the palace's Chapel Royal, George was dressed in a long cream satin robe that was a replica of an 1841 gown made for the christening of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter.

Kate, a style icon whose outfits often increase sales of similar garments, wore an off-white, ruffled skirt-suit, made by British fashion house Alexander McQueen, and pillbox hat by British milliner Jane Taylor.

Queen Elizabeth, her husband Prince Philip, heir apparent Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, and William's brother Harry attended the service in which Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby baptised the prince with water from the River Jordan.

"George is being brought up in a world very different from Prince William's childhood but the royal couple really is obsessed by privacy and I hope that does not impinge too much on their lives,'' said Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine and author of  "A Century of Royal Children''.

Fans and family

The parents named six friends and William's cousin Zara Tindall as godparents, breaking with the tradition of choosing mostly royal dignitaries, a decision that continued their effort to portray a more informal, modern image to austerity-hit Britons.

Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and her sister Pippa were among the guests. A friend of Princess Diana, Julia Samuel, was one of the godmothers alongside Kate's schoolfriend Emilia Jardine-Paterson.

Clarissa Campbell, historian of monarchy at Anglia Ruskin University, said scaling back the number of royals at events and putting Prince William and Prince Harry at the forefront had boosted the royal family's popularity that flagged after Diana's death and a several royal marriage breakdowns.

"It's also very much Her Majesty's wish that the royal family is not seen as an expensive institution in these days,'' Campbell told Reuters.

Royal fans wait outside St James's Palace before the christening of Prince George in London Oct. 23, 2013.Royal fans wait outside St James's Palace before the christening of Prince George in London Oct. 23, 2013.
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Royal fans wait outside St James's Palace before the christening of Prince George in London Oct. 23, 2013.
Royal fans wait outside St James's Palace before the christening of Prince George in London Oct. 23, 2013.
Although the service was held behind closed doors, well-wishers gathered to watch guests drive in and out of the palace commissioned by King Henry VIII.

"We're dying to see Prince George but I totally respect their decision [for privacy]. It's their child,'' said Maria Scott, 42, draped in a British flag, who traveled 300 miles (500 km) from Newcastle in northern England for the day.

Media access to the christening was blocked, with the palace appointing Jason Bell, 44, known for his portraits of rock stars and Hollywood actors, as the sole official photographer.

As well as the christening, Bell was expected to shoot the first portrait of four generations of the royal family in more than 100 years, with the queen and her three direct heirs, Charles, William and George.

A tier of a cake made for William and Kate's 2011 wedding was to be served at a private tea held after the christening.

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by: Mr Kyaw Soe from: Yangon, Myanmar
October 31, 2013 5:57 AM
The TV pictures make the all the viewers remember of Prince Charles and Diana and sympathy on the whole family.


by: ed from: nj
October 25, 2013 11:16 PM
To Rat: apparently millions of people do.


by: onefeather from: USA
October 24, 2013 8:37 PM
Blessing for the baby and the parents. William and Kate are doing their best and it shows what good parents they are and will be. It is nice to see young people who have respect and manners and care about their child, a lot different than most parents in this country who's kids are on drug's and in gang's that do not finish school and have no respect for their self much less anyone else. God Bless them and the baby.


by: Linda Balusik from: USA
October 24, 2013 11:34 AM
Diana would be so proud of her son William. He and his beautiful wife Kate are so following in her footsteps in their efforts to build an every day life for their family amidst all the royalty. Job well done by both. They are a stunning family.


by: Mark Car from: United States
October 23, 2013 12:59 PM
I think it's great the way they're handling this. Very royal, and yet not pompous. I really believe they will make royals more popular than ever.

In Response

by: Rat from: Rat Hole
October 23, 2013 4:45 PM
Who really gives a rats rump????

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