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Charlotte baptism photos released

The christening of Princess Charlotte has been marked by the release of a collection of touching family photographs.

The four official images are a mixture of the formal and informal and were taken by celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino immediately after the royal baby was baptised at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham on Sunday.

A relaxed image of the Duchess of Cambridge holding her daughter is complemented by another of the Duke with his son Prince George, while a third shows the foursome together.

The fourth is a photograph for posterity showing William's immediate family with Kate's parents and siblings - and the Queen with three future monarchs, the Prince of Wales, William and George.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their whole family had a wonderful day on Sunday and were delighted to share the special occasion with the thousands of people who came to Sandringham.

"They are very happy to share these photographs and hope that everyone enjoys them as much as they do."

The large group photograph shows Charlotte's immediate family in the drawing room of the Queen's private Norfolk residence, Sandringham House.

Seated at the front are William, George, then Kate holding her daughter, and finally the Queen.

Standing behind William are Kate's family - her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and her siblings, James and Pippa.

Next to the Middletons and also standing are Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Harry is missing as he is spending the summer working as a wildlife conservation volunteer in Africa.

Kate and Charlotte are featured together in an image also taken in the drawing room, with the Duchess looking proudly down at her daughter in her arms.

To complement this picture there is a black and white image taken in the gardens of Sandringham House of the Duke beaming as he holds his son.

The final image from the official set of christening pictures taken by Testino is a family photograph of the Cambridges with their children.

Kate is holding Charlotte while William is holding George, who is playing with his own hair, as they pose in the gardens of Sandringham House.

The outing for the christening was the first time the family of four had been seen together in public.

The royal baby was pushed to church in a vintage pram - which the Queen used for two of her own children - in what was only the royal infant's second appearance in public since she was photographed leaving hospital following her birth on May 2.

Kate strolled from Sandringham House pushing the large traditional silver wheeled Millson pram, once used for the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, while William held George's hand as the prince, who is nearly two, waved at the crowds.

Charlotte, who is nine weeks old, was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, using the ornate silver gilt lily font which is part of the crown jewels.

The princess was baptised using holy water from the River Jordan, where it is said Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist.

Testino, 60, is one of the most highly regarded fashion and portrait photographers in the world and his work has been showcased in international magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair and in museum and gallery exhibitions.

The rich, famous and powerful, ranging from Madonna and Kate Moss to Michelle Obama, have posed for him. He received an honorary OBE last year.

Testino was also chosen to take William and Kate's official engagement photos in 2010 and he also created some of the most enduring images of William's late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Peruvian, said to be Diana's favourite photographer, has worked with William on many occasions.

He marked William's 21st birthday in 2003 and also captured Prince Harry's 20th birthday image in 2004, which showed the royal brothers joking with their father.

The Duke and Duchess have chosen five godparents for their daughter including William's cousin Laura Fellowes.

They asked Miss Fellowes - the daughter of one of the Princess of Wales's sisters - to take on the spiritual role for the baby p rincess, as well as friends Sophie Carter and James Meade, Kate's cousin Adam Middleton and William's close friend Thomas van Straubenzee.


From Belfast Telegraph