First things first. We have a name! Or three, in fact.
Earlier today Clarence House announced:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son George Alexander Louis. The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.
Our name predictions for a baby boy was posted exactly a month ago (on June 24) and we did pretty well! Check that here if you like. Let’s run it down.
First Name: George
The #1 Prediction for a baby boy was George, so hurray for us. The bookies thought so, too and even at Kate and William’s photo call yesterday one of the reporters flat out asked if the baby’s name would be George. William’s response? “wait and see, wait and see.”
We know that this morning the Queen paid a visit to Kensington Palace to see the new baby, and must have given the name her seal of approval then. Kate and William weren’t required to get it, but it must have been fun to have for them to have a little chat about it this morning. Then, they beetled off to Bucklebury where they must have had a final chat about it with Kate’s family before sharing the news with the world.
As we discussed in our baby name post, George currently sits at #12 for boys names in England and Wales. We’ll see if it shoots up to #1 now. And of course, the patron saint of England is St. George, and Queen Elizabeth’s father went by George when he was crowned king. So many Georges!
Middle Name #1: Alexander
Ok, this wasn’t on our list of predictions so this one was a swing and a miss. Love it, though. There is a lot of history with this name, particularly when it comes to the ladies. For example, Queen Victoria’s first name was actually ‘Alexandrina’ and the current Queen has ‘Alexandra’ as one of her middle names. Princess Alexandra, Lady Ogilvy (one of the Queen’s cousins) is also one of Williams’ godparents.
Plus, it’s got a bit of a modern feel to it for the little chap.
Middle Name #2: Louis
Louis was our #3 prediction since it is one of William’s middle names. William was given the name as a tribute to Louis, Lord Mountbatten who played an important part in Prince Charles’ life. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex also shares this middle name, and he and Sophie named their daughter Louise.
Louis is is currently tied at #68 with Arthur for most popular baby names in England and Wales.
So there we go! George Alexander Louis is a lovely name and flows very nicely together. As far as why ‘William’ isn’t in there, I guess they just wanted to give the baby his own identity.
Thoughts on The Christening
Now that we have a christening to look forward to for the little Prince of Cambridge, let’s chat about what we can expect.
There’s been some speculation in the (mostly American) press that it will be held in Westminster Abbey. There is NO WAY in heck is that happening.
As with most things royal, I think we should look to tradition for the answer and here’s a fun fact for you: so far, four royal babies have been christened in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace. Four! And all of these christenings have been relatively recent: Prince Charles was the fist, followed by Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince William. They were all also christened there by the Archbishop of Canterbury, so I believe the Music Room it will be for Prince George.
As a runner up option, Prince Harry was christened at St. George’s chapel at Windsor Castle which would be quite appropriate for little George, too. We’ll see what they choose!
It won’t be televised, but at the very least I think we can expect three or four official photographs to be released, along with a list of the chosen godparents.
So When Will it Be?
As far as when it will happen, it seems that most royal babies are christened at some point between four week and four months old. Prince William was christened on August 4th after his June 21st birthday, Charles on December 15th after being born on November 14, and more recently James Vicount Severn was christened on April 19 after his December 17 birthday. It’s all over the place!
We are talking about the third in line to the throne and future ‘Defender of the Faith, so I think a late September to early October christening is likely as not to interrupt the Queen’s holiday in Balmoral too much.
I mean, we need more photos of her having a lovely time at the Braemar games, which happens at the beginning of September each year.
The Christening Gown
Most important in my books is the christening gown. We’ve already hashed out lots of details of this tradition in our post. British Royal Family Christening Gowns. It was published back in October of 2011 and it’s actually one of our most read posts ever, so let me just boil it down quickly for you.
Basically, since 1841(!), royal babies wore a gown first worn by Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Victoria. The last royal baby to wear it was Lady Louise Windsor. Here’s Prince Charles in the gown:
The Royal Collection
Then, when Lady Louise’s brother James, Viscount Severn was born, a new gown was introduced. As a press release stated at the time:
“The Christening Gown worn by Viscount Severn is a hand-made replica of Queen Victoria’s daughter’s Christening Gown, which was worn at subsequent Royal Christenings and has now been preserved. It is the first time this gown has been worn by a member of the Royal Family and was commissioned by The Queen.”
It certainly is very frothy and lacy:
Also very important of course, is who William and Kate will choose to be godparents. I’d not be surprised to see some of their close friends in the ranks, along with some family.
William’s six godparents included cousins such as the former King Constantine of Greece, Princess Alexandra, and Lord Romsey. There was a bit of a hullaballoo in the press at that time that none of Charles’ siblings were included in the group. Who knows if that is true, but for what it’s worth Prince Harry has six godparents as well and the Duke of York is one of them. Bottom line: siblings could be chosen!
Over in Europe, the royals have each other as godparents but I don’t really see that happening here since they don’t have the same close relationships. As fun as it would be to find out Princess Victoria of Sweden was in the ranks, I don’t think it’ll happen
So, here are my predictions. I’ve got five possibilities for each:
- Prince Harry! He’s going to be such a fun uncle.
- Thomas van Straubenzee: William was a groomsman at his wedding to Lady Melissa Percy earlier this summer and they go waaay back.
- Hugh van Cutsem– Hugh’s daughter Grace was a flower girl at the wedding (the one who covered her ears on the balcony). Here he is with his wife:
- Peter Philips – William’s first cousin, son of Princess Anne
- Pippa Middleton: so that there will be some Middleton representation in the ranks. My guess for the heir is Pippa, and the spare will have James Middleton as a godfather if he doesn’t do anything too embarrassing before then.
- Zara Philips, William’s first cousin who’s expecting a baby in the new year
- A Spencer Lady: So these are the last three guesses. Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah McCquorcodale or Lady Jane Fellowes would be a nice way to include Diana’s side. William, Kate, and Harry all showed up for Emily McCorquodale’s Jun 2012 wedding, so I think she could be another contender . Our post on that wedding always is inexplicably one of our top posts EVER and can be found here if you’d like to see.
Any other ideas?
No doubt little Prince George will have a christening cake or two. Evidentially there were several ‘christening cakes’ at Prince Charles’ christening in 1948. Some decorations put on the Charles’ cakes were kept and included in an exhibit marking the Prince of Wales’ 60th birthday put on by the Royal Collection.
For example, these silk flowers adorned a cake at his christening and his great-grandmother Queen Mary tucked them away with this hand-written note:
This silver carousel was a topper for a christening cake as well. The Royals Collection’s website explains:
“The silver carousel was made for one of Prince Charles’s Christening cakes by Lieut-Col. Bell and wounded ex-servicemen, and was engraved and polished by Peter Milton. It is engraved with the arms of his mother on one side, and of his father on the other. The baby in a cradle is rocked by a lion and a unicorn, supporters in the royal coat of arms.”
Perhaps they’ll bring out it for Baby Cambridge.
Queen Mary gave Prince Charles this christening cup, which has a very far reaching history:
This silver-gilt Christening cup was given by Queen Mary to Prince Charles, her godson and great-grandson, on his christening in 1948. It was made by the English silversmith Thomas Heming and was originally a christening gift from King George III to The Hon. Augustus Legge, son of the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, who was christened in May 1773.
Another tradition to include! Time to pass it on, Charles.
Side Note: Baby Prince Charles also received this little fork, knife, and spoon in a leather carrying case.
But could anything be as cute as Princess Estelle of Sweden? It’s debatable. that little sash is tough to beat!
In case you haven’t had enough yet, here are our other posts on royal christening gowns and ceremonies. Have at ’em if you wish: