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

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
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.

VOA Blogs