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

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid