News / Europe

Royal Baby Christening Breaks with Tradition

Royal Baby Christening Breaks with Traditioni
X
October 23, 2013 4:37 AM
The christening of the world's most famous baby will be as low key as possible
Royal Baby Christening Breaks with Tradition
Carla Babb
Prince George, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is being christened in Britain on Wednesday. In a break from tradition, the christening of the world's most famous baby will be as low key as possible.
 
Three months ago, Prince William and his wife Catherine shared their bundle of joy with the world.  And just as the royal couple broke with tradition when they released family snapshots as Prince George's first official photos, Will and Kate continue to do things their way. 
 
Prince George will be christened in the small Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace, rather than the traditional music room in Buckingham Palace. Kate was confirmed into the Church of England there, and the coffin of William's mother, Princess Diana, was put on display at the chapel after her death in 1997. 
 
Penny Junor, Prince William's biographer, stresses the personal connection both have to the smaller Chapel Royal.
 
"I think this chapel basically has got meaning for them, whereas a room in the vast Buckingham Palace is a bit more impersonal,” said Junor.
 
The guest list will be limited by the small space and the couple's preferences. Immediate family will attend, but some senior royals have not been invited.  Royal author Ingrid Seward says this shouldn't be viewed as a snub.
 
"Princess Anne wasn't at Prince William's christening because she said she had a rabbit shoot at her country house on that day, and it caused a huge scandal.  Everyone thought it was because Anne and Diana didn't get on, but it was actually because they were doing something else," recalls Seward. 
 
Even William's godfather, Constantine II, the former king of Greece, won't attend.
 
"If the family wanted a big affair, they would make it.  They wanted a small affair?  They get that.  I think it's perfectly all right," said Constantine II.
 
Britain's top clergyman, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, says he is happy to be a part of this baby's relationship with God.
 
"The great good news is that God doesn't care who we are.  The baby is committed into God's hands.  I will mark Prince George with the sign of the cross.  And that's exactly what every priest always does," commented Welby.
 
No matter how small or private the ceremony, Britons like John Loughrey are pleased to share in the royal family's personal moment.
 
"I will be excited, the crowds will be excited, the fans will be excited, the press are going to be excited, everybody is excited.  Of course the royal family will be very excited.  And of course the late Diana, Princess of Wales, will be shining down on them," said Loughrey.
 
Margaret Tyler has devoted her entire London home to royal family memorabilia, with a collection of 10,000 pieces.  She hopes to buy souvenirs from the christening for her collection. Perhaps she'll join other Britons in saving a commemorative coin: the cheapest is priced at about $20, with the gold "Kilo" costing more than $80,000.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs