Thoughts on Prince George’s Christening Day

It was so much fun to wake up to more great coverage of Prince George’s christening than expected. There had been talk that nothing would be released until tomorrow, after all. So let’s begin!

The Footage

We’ll start with the Royals arriving, captured on video!  Check it out here:

Even if you didn’t watch it, no worries! Because I did watch it. Many times. All so that we could have some detailed analysis, because that’s how we roll around here.

First of all, all the bowing and whatnot is so fascinating, right? This video doesn’t show how Camilla first greets the Queen with a curtsey and then she moves over to Prince Philip. She gives him a more informal greeting and no curtsey (maybe she forgot?) and  a casual “how are you?” and clap on the shoulder. Goes to show how far Camilla has come in the last ten years!

Camilla greeting the Queen (via Daily Mail)

Camilla greeting the Queen (via Daily Mail)

Meanwhile Harry ducks over to greet Granny with two kisses and a deep head bow, followed by Kate who greets the Queen with a tentative smile, kiss and a curtsey. William, who is carrying Prince George, gives the Queen a quick head bow and then we hear him having a few words with the Queen and the clergy.

“He’s just got quiet. He’s all ready…so far so good.” That sort of thing.

William, George, and Kate (via DukeandDuchessofCambridge.org)

William, George, and Kate (via DukeandDuchessofCambridge.org)

Then Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says “I have five children myself” and no one seems to really hear him, which is sad. Then another member of the clergy greets Kate with a “Your Royal Highness.” Kate responds with a “Good morning.”

Oh dear.

The service was scheduled for three pm, so Kate clearly still gets a but tongue tied around the Queen and video cameras. Can’t really blame her but the haters will have a field day. Shortly afterwards, Kate notices the Duke of Edinburgh and heads over for a curtsey. It’s quite sweet, actually. Everyone seems more warm around Prince Philip today! They then walk in with Prince Philip keeping up the rear and that’s the end of the video coverage.

The Invite List

While there was speculation that two of Kate’s midwives were invited, we didn’t see any evidence of that today. However, we do know that apart from the godparents the attendees were:

  • Kate, William, and George
  • The Queen and Prince Philip
  • Charles and Camilla
  • Harry
  • Mike and Carole Middleton
  • Pippa and James
The Queen arrives in regal blue with Philip (via Daily Mail)

The Queen arrives in regal blue with Philip (via Daily Mail)

Carole, the Queen, and Zara all chose blue

Carole, the Queen, and Zara all chose blue (via Daily Mail)

James, Earl Grosvenor, Pippa, and Carole (via Daily Mail)

James, Earl Grosvenor, Pippa, and Carole (via Daily Mail)

The fact that they wanted to keep it so small to the exclusion of Sophie and Edward, Andrew, and Anne seems a bit short sighted to me.  I mean, why not bring the family together for a happy event? Maybe they just didn’t want to then have to invite wayward Uncle Gary? Or Earl Spencer?

The Godparents

The rest of the gathering was made up of the chosen godparents and their spouses. Courtesy of the press release on William and Kate’s official website, the godparents are:

  • Mr Oliver Baker (Oliver Baker attended the University of St Andrews with The Duke and Duchess)
  • Mrs David Jardine-Paterson (Emilia Jardine-Paterson attended Marlborough College with The Duchess)
  • Earl Grosvenor (Hugh) (Earl Grosvenor is the son of The Duke of Westminster)
  • Mr Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton served as Private Secretary to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry from 2005-2012 and continues to serve part-time as Principal Private Secretary and Equerry)
  • The Hon Mrs Michael Samuel (Julia Samuel was a close friend of The Princess of Wales)
  • Mrs Michael Tindall (Zara Tindall is The Duke of Cambridge’s cousin)
  • Mr William van Cutsem (William van Cutsem is a childhood friend of The Duke of Cambridge)
Emilia, via Daily Mail

Emilia, via Daily Mail

William and Ollie Baker in 2007 (shortly before the William-Kate Break Up!)

William and Ollie Baker in 2007 (shortly before the William-Kate Break Up!)

I think it’s just perfect that Kate and William have their two good friends Emilia and Oliver there on the top of the list.  Ollie lived with Kate and William for a couple of years at St. Andews and apparently Emilia introduced Kate get into William’s circle before Kate decided to go to St. Andrews (more on that here). Both are also very discrete and protective so they definitely deserve a place.  Nice for Kate to have a pal on there, too (there’s so much ink spilled on her not having many friends, so this will help show ’em). Oh, and Emilia is married to the brother of Pippa’s ex boyfriend JJ Jardine-Paterson, so there’s that. No wonder Pippa wanted to show up looking GOOD!

The young Earl (left) celebrated his 21st birthday with great fanfare

The young Earl (left) celebrated his 21st birthday with great fanfare (via Chester Chronicles)

The young Earl of Grosvenor is another nice choice, he’s the closest in age to Prince George and will be a good ally. The Grosvenors own much more of London than the Queen, and no doubt he’ll be able to be a big help to George when it comes to estate planning and what not.

Kate and Jamie at a Polo Match c. 2006 (via Zimbio)

Kate and Jamie at a Polo Match c. 2006 (via Zimbio)

I have to say I was also a bit relieved to see Jamie Lowther- Pinkerton on the list. I’d wondered if perhaps there had been a slight rift, what with him leaving full-time service lately. More info on Jamie can be read in our post on William and Kate’s staff here.

The final three godparents also make a lot of sense.

Zara and Kate at Cheltenham just before the big break up

Zara and Kate at Cheltenham just before the big break up

And here’s Zara today, looking great in Navy. Why not have a cousin and Olympic champion on the roster? Also, her kid and Prince George will be very close in age.

Zara at Prince George's christening (via Daily Mail)

Zara at Prince George’s christening (via Daily Mail)

Julia Samuel was another thoughtful choice. She was a good friend of Princess Diana and is the founder of Child Bereavement, a charity that William is involved with.

Prince William with Julia (via Hello!)

Prince William with Julia (via Hello!)

Wlliam Van Cutsem is the final member of the godparents club. His family has long been close with the Wales’ and his inclusion had been speculated about.

I think it makes sense that Harry and Pippa weren’t included on the list. After all, they will already be closely involved in George’s upbringing.

The Service 

Pippa and Harry were honoured in that they were both asked to be readers at the service. A nice touch! Maybe James will get his turn next time round. It was also revealed that one of the hymns that was sung had been written for Prince William’s christening.

More details can be seen on the official press release here.

The Christening Gown

It’s no surprise to us that the gown itself has been a source of intrigue since our post on the British royal family’s Christening gowns has been one of our most popular posts ever since it was first published (it’s gotten well over 30,000 hits to date!).

From 1841 to 2004, members of the royal family have been christened in a gown that was commissioned by Queen Victoria for her eldest daughter’s christening. Here’s a photo of the future Queen Elizabeth II in the original gown on her christening day on May 29, 1926:

The Royal.Gov.UK website gives these details of the gown:

The Royal christening robe, of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin, was made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal.
In 1894 the robe was given by Queen Victoria to the Duchess of York (later Queen Mary), all of whose children were christened in it. 
In the next generation it was worn by the children of King George VI, of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and of Prince George, Duke of Kent. 
The children of The Queen and of Princess Margaret were christened in it, and it has subsequently been used for the christenings of all The Queens grandchildren and other Royal babies, including the grand children of Princess Margaret.

Here’s Lady Louise in the gown – little did she know she’d be the last one to wear it!

After Lady Louise’s 2004 christening, the gown was retired in order to preserve it and a replacement was comissioned by the Queen. Lady Louise’s brother James Viscount Severn wore the new gown for his 2006 christening. A press release for the occasion states:

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.

Since then it’s believed that both of Peter Philips’ children have worn this new gown. That makes Prince George the 4th of the Queen’s grandchildren or great-grandchildren to wear it.

Kate’s Outfit

The other outfit that looked smashing today was Kate’s. She chooses McQueen for big events, and today’s outfit was no exception. The colour and ruffle details echoed the christening gown.

Kate with Prince George after the ceremony (via Daily Mail)

Kate with Prince George after the ceremony (via Daily Mail)

I also immediately thought of the white Reiss dress that Kate wore in her engagement photographs and in Ottawa for the Canada Day celebrations. She does like a good ruffle, doesn’t she?

Kate & William's engagement portrait by Mario Testino

Kate & William’s engagement portrait by Mario Testino

I also liked how Camilla and Pippa showed up in creamy whites – they just looked so fresh and calm. Zara, the Queen, and Carole also all looked great in blue.

Spencer Christenings

Before we end, I thought this would be as good a time as any to take a moment to look over at Princess Diana’s own christening. This photo shows the Hon. Diana Spencer with her parents on her christening day in 1961. Her father was not yet the Earl at this point.

(and psssst…SO MANY rarely seen photos of a young Diana can be seen here. I was blown away by how many I hadn’t seen)

And finally, A rarely seen photo from Diana’s older sister Sarah’s  1955 christening can be seen here.  As you can see in the picture, the Queen Mother attended – it’s worth click, I promise.

More Christening Fun

If you haven’t had enough yet, reading some of our past posts on royal christenings might tickle your fancy!

Swedish Royal Family Christening Traditions they have a few, and some of these pics are pretty darn cute

Princess Estelle of Sweden’s Christening, when the little Princess wore a wee Order of the Seraphim sash

The Royal Family of Denmark’s Christening Gowns (the oldest one has been in use since 1870!)

Princess Athena of Denmark’s Christening, when one of the chosen godmothers raised some eyebrows

So, thoughts? Please share!

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Categories: Baby Cambridge, British Royal Family, Diana, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cambridge, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Pippa Middleton, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge

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5 replies

  1. Have been highly anticipating your post on the big day. You didn’t disappoint and were so quick off the mark. Brilliant to include the video. I, too, watched it several times! I’d also add to your observations that William has the “jiggy-jiggy” down pat. Does wonders for keeping baby quiet.
    I like that Kate stumbled a bit with the “good morning” I lean to that tendency myself. Bee ya boon –

  2. Love your post! Kate’s dress actually reminds me a bit of a dress Diana wore to the US in 1985 (not trying to compare them, but almost 30 years later, the ruffle is back!). I tried to attach a photo but couldn’t – check the link below if you are curious (or just google “princess diana Nancy Reagan 1985 and you’l find it.

    Btw, I’m also fascinated with all the head bobbing and curtseying. It’s so interesting to me that rank is important even within the family (if you’ve never read who should curtsey to whom, it’s fascinating – it often depends on if the royal born spouse is present at the time!).

    • Oh wow that dress IS so much like Kate’s! I don’t remember seeing that picture before. Thanks so much for including it here!

      Glad you enjoyed the post! It must be nice for Kate that she doesn’t have to curtsey to that many people or atleast not as many as Sophie does! At Trooping the Colour I noticed that she give the Queen & Philip a quick curtsey ON the balcony so clearly they hadn’t seen each other before going out.

      It does seem a bit much that she has to curtsey to “blood princesses” like Anne, Beatrice, and Eugenie when she isn’t with William….it all just seems a wee bit lord of the flies-ish.

  3. Great coverage on Prince George’s Christening!

    Loved Kate’s dress, so much like her Reiss engagement (and Canada Day) dress, it was sweet that the colour of her dress matched the christening gown. Prince George is an adorable baby, and he was so good.

    Thanks for posting the video, it was very interesting to see all of the curtseying and head bowing. I thought Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall looked particularly lovely today.

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