Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Princess Charlotte is christened

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge include Diana's niece among daughter's godparents.

Princess Charlotte was christened in front of the Queen and close family and friends today as the Cambridges had their first public outing as a family of four.

The nine-week-old was welcomed into the Christian faith, watched by proud parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and older brother Prince George.

Great-grandparents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, grandparents the Prince of Wales and Carole and Michael Middleton, step-grandmother the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate's siblings Pippa and James Middleton joined Charlotte's five godparents for the celebratory occasion at Church of St Mary Magdalene in Norfolk.

The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby performed the baptism - a must for royal babies - using the ornate silver gilt Lily Font which is part of the Crown Jewels.

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

Charlotte was pushed to her christening 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.

Kate strolled from Sandringham House to the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Norfolk 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.

After a short service lasting just over half an hour, the royals began emerging from the church.

Charlotte was christened in a replica of the intricate lace and satin christening gown made for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Victoria, the Princess Royal, in 1841. The original is too delicate to wear and its exact copy is now used for royal baptisms.

The baby's chubby cheeks could be seen as Kate lifted her from her pram as they were about to enter the church. The Princess had started to cry and Kate picked her up to settle her ahead of the service.

As George entered the churchyard, he let go of William's hand and made his own way through the grounds. As his mother tended to his sister, the inquisitive youngster took matters into his own hands and tried to make his way into the church by himself.

The Duke and Duchess delighted the large crowds of well-wishers by walking the short distance to the 16th century venue from nearby Sandringham House with George and Charlotte.

It was a public insight into a private service. Just 21 guests were among the congregation including the princess's five godparents. They are Diana, Princess of Wales' niece and William's cousin the Hon Laura Fellowes; Kate's cousin Adam Middleton; Sophie Carter - a long term confidante of Kate's; William's Eton school friend James Meade; and one of his best friends since childhood Thomas van Straubenzee.

They joined in singing the two hymns - Praise to the Lord, The Almighty and Come Down, O Love Divine, while godfather Mr Meade read the lesson from Matthew 18, verses 1-5 and the Sandringham Church Choir performed two anthems.

Processional organ music - Vaughan Williams' Prelude on Rhosymedre - which was played at William and Kate's wedding sounded out at the start of the traditional ceremony.

Hundreds of royal fans - some of whom camped out overnight - founds spots inside the paddock - the name given to the area outside the Norfolk church after William and Kate gave permission for the area to be open to the public - just like when the royals visit on Christmas Day.

Prince Harry was missing from the event, having already left to spend three months in Africa, and other senior royals the Duke of York, who is abroad, Anne and the Earl of Wessex were also absent from the congregation just as they were from George's baptism.

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge was born on May 2 at 8.34am, weighing 8lbs 3oz.

One of her middle names was a tribute to William's mother Diana, who died in a car crash 18 years ago. The baptism also took place in the same church that Diana was christened in 1961, while choosing Laura Fellowes - William's cousin on the Spencer side - as a godmother has maintained the bond with Diana's family.

Afterwards, guests made their way to Sandringham House for tea hosted by William and Kate, when they will be served slices of christening cake, taken from a tier of their wedding cake. Celebrity and fashion photographer Mario Testino is tasked with taking the official pictures - his first ever photo shoot with the Queen.

Kate was dressed in a stylish ivory Alexander McQueen outfit with Jane Taylor hat, while the Queen wore a pink Angela Kelly coat and hat.

George - in red shorts and white shirt with red embroidery - was wearing an almost identical outfit to the one William wore when he first met baby Prince Harry in September 1984.

At one point, George peered into his sister's pram to look at her. He also tried to play with the pram's large wheels outside the church, but was stopped by his nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.

Ms Turrion Borrallo - who trained at the prestigious Norland College - was dressed in her traditional light brown uniform, dark brown bowler hat and white gloves. Norland has been producing nannies for the rich and famous since 1892.

She was in the church to help out, but was not part of the official christening party.


From Belfast Telegraph