Future king is to be christened today in a private ceremony attended by four generations of the royal family.
Well-wishers are already gathering close to the chapel, but this christening is likely to be a low-key affair.
Prince George’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have broken with tradition and chosen to have their three-month-old son baptised in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, Pall Mall, London, in a 45-minute service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
While The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles and The Queen were all christened in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, it is thought that Prince George’s parents wanted the Chapel Royal at St James’s thanks to its small size and intimate atmosphere.
Given that the chapel was where the late Diana, Princess of Wales was laid to rest ahead of her funeral in 1997 and the Duchess of Cambridge was confirmed into the Church of England here, it holds important memories for the young royals.
St James’s Palace was commissioned by King Henry VIII and constructed between 1531 and 1536 in the red-brick Tudor style upon the site of a former hospital dedicated to Saint James the Less, from where the royal building gets its name.
The Queen, Prince Philip and the Prince of Wales are all expected to attend the service, along with Prince Harry. A small selection of close friends of the Duke and Duchess have also been invited, including Prince George’s seven godparents – Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Earl Grosvenor, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Julia Samuel, William van Cutsem and Zara Phillips.
Mr Lowther-Pinkerton is a former royal aide, while Zara Phillips is Duke of Cambridge’s first cousin. Emilia Jardine-Paterson is a friend of the Duchess from Marlborough College.
Prince George, who will one day be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, will be dressed in a Honiton lace christening gown, a replica of the one used by more than 60 members of the Royal Family since 1841.
He will be baptised over a font that was specially created for Queen Victoria’s first child, with water from the River Jordan.
Photographs will be taken after the service by photographer Jason Bell, one of many interviewed for the exclusive job. One composition is set to be particularly iconic, depicting The Queen with three future monarchs: her son Charles, her grandson William and her great-grandson George. This set-up has not been seen since July 1894 at the christening of the future King Edward VIII.
The photo has him in the arms of his great grandmother Queen Victoria with his father George V and grandfather Edward VII standing behind.
The royal party will then celebrate with slices of the christening cake, which is one of the tiers from the Duke and Duchess’s wedding cake.
|Click here to subscribe!