Friday 28 November 2014

Low-key christening for royal baby Prince George

Belinda Goldsmith

Published 21/10/2013 | 12:41

The new royal family's first and only family photograph, taken by Kate's father Michael.

After arriving to a global media frenzy, Britain's Prince George will make his second official appearance this week at a Christening designed to be as low-key as possible for the world's most-hyped baby.

Prince George, third-in-line to the British throne, will be Christened on Wednesday in a private, 45-minute ceremony in the Chapel Royal at St James' Palace by the spiritual leader of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

George will become the formal head of the Church of England himself if he accedes to the throne.

Few were surprised by Prince William and his wife Kate's decision to break with tradition and not hold the service in Buckingham Palace as is typical for royal Christenings.

The couple, known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since their 2011 wedding, have made it clear they are not sticklers for tradition and their informality has helped portray a more modern, relevant royal family in austerity-hit Britain. So far the only official photographs of Prince George are family snapshots taken by Kate's father Michael Middleton.

The Christening will be the first time in over 100 years that four generations of royals are photographed together, with a picture of Queen Elizabeth, her son and heir Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George to be released after the event.

Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) and Prince Charles with Prince William on the day of William's christening, held in the music room of Buckingham Palace, London, England, Great Britain, 4 August 1982. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) and Prince Charles with Prince William on the day of William's christening, held in the music room of Buckingham Palace, London, England, Great Britain, 4 August 1982. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Zarzuela Palace, Madrid. 1968. Baptism of Crown Prince Felipe of Spain. Prince´s godmother, great-grandmother Queen Victoria Eugenia, and godfather, grandfather Don Juan of Borbon and Battenberg. The ceremony was officiated by Madrid Archibishop, Casimiro Morcillo. (Photo by Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images)
British Royalty, The christening of Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, 1926, Group, back row, L-R: Duke of Connaught, H,M,King George V of Great Britain, Duke of York, Earl of Strathmore, Front row, L-R: Lady Elphinstone, H,M,Queen Mary, Duchess of York and baby, Countess of Strathmore, Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles (Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
1926, The Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) pictured with their daughter (later, Queen Elizabeth II) as she sleeps in a precious christening robe, which has been used in the Royal Family for generations (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
HRH The Princess Anne and her daughter Miss Zara Phillips on the occasion of her Christening at Windsor Castle on 27th July 1981, this picture was used subsequently as a family Christmas card. (Photo by Lichfield/Getty Images).
Miss Zara Phillips on the occasion of her Christening at Windsor Castle on 27th July 1981 with her parents and grandparents. Front row (left to right) HM The Queen, HRH The Princess Anne holding Miss Zara Phillips, Mrs Peter Phillips, back row (left to right) Mr Peter Phillips, Captain Mark Phillips and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. (Photo by Lichfield/Getty Images).
LONDON: Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales with Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother at the christening of baby Prince William at Buckingham Palace, London in August 1982. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
SANDRINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 23: Princess Eugenie's Christening At Sandringham Church. Her Mother, The Duchess Of York, Is Giving Her A Kiss As Prince Andrew Looks On. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: King Constantine And Queen Anne-marie Of Greece At The Christening Of Their Daughter, Princess Theodora, In London. Beside Them Is Their Son, Prince Nikolaos of Greece (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 20: King Constantine And Queen Anne-marie Of Greece At The Christening Of Their Daughter, Princess Theodora, In London. Beside Them Is Their Son, Prince Nikolaos of Greece (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 15: Prince William With His Godchild, Konstantine Alexios Of Greece Held By King Constantine Of Greece At The Greek Cathedral Of Saint Sophia In London. Prince William's Arm Is Bandaged And In A Sling Following A Rugby Injury To His Fingers. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 15: Prince William With His Godchild, Konstantine Alexios Of Greece Held By King Constantine Of Greece At The Greek Cathedral Of Saint Sophia In London. Prince William's Arm Is Bandaged And In A Sling Following A Rugby Injury To His Fingers. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
BARNWELL, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 13: Duchess Of Gloucester With Her Son The Earl Of Ulster And Baby Lady Rose Windsor After Her Christening. Behind Is Lady Sarah Armstrong-jones, Godmother (Photo by TIM GRAHAM/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 20: Christening Of Princess Beatrice Of York At The Chapel Royal, St James Palace, London (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 15: Prince William Holding His Godson, Konstantine Alexios, At The Baby's Christening At The Greek Cathedral Of Sophia In London. (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS: Catharina-Amalia, the daughter of Dutch crown prince Willem-Alexander and Princes Maxima, in the St-Jacobs church during her christening in The Hague 12 June 2004. AFP PHOTO PHOTO/POOL/ROBIN UTRECHT (Photo credit should read ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images)
21st October 1950: Princess Elizabeth with her baby daughter Princess Anne who is wearing the Royal christening robe made of Honiton lace. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
18th November 1947: Lieutenant Mountbatten, the Godfather, with Lady Brabourne and her baby son after the christening. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) holding her son Prince Charles after his christening ceremony at Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
The Duke of Kent, George Edward Alexander Edmund, with the Duchess and their children (later the Duke and Princess Alexandra) at the christening of their third baby (Prince Michael). Original Publication: People Disc - HF0600 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
John Ambler (1924 - 2008) with Princess Margaretha of Sweden holding their three week old daughter Sybilla Louise Ambler, after Sybilla's christening at St. Pauls' Church, Knightsbridge, London, 6th May 1965. (Photo by George W Hales/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The Royal Family Of Greece: Constantin Ii, Anne-Marie Of Denmark And The Baptism Of The Princess Alexia. Athènes- 1966- Devant le palais, portrait du couple royal CONSTANTIN II, en uniforme militaire, et Anne-Marie DE DANNEMARK, en robe élégante de style traditionnel, debout, tenant leur fille, la princesse Alexia en robe blanche. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)
Orthodox Baptism Of The Crown Prince Paul Of Greece. En Grèce, en juin 1967, La reine ANNE-MARIE de Grèce, posant assise à la sortie de l'église orthodoxe, tenant dans les bras son fils, le prince héritier PAUL de Grèce lors de son baptême. A ses côtés, de gauche à droite : SOPHIE de Grèce, la reine mère FREDERIKA de Grèce, une personne non identifiée, la princesse IRENE portant la princesse ALEXIA , le roi CONSTANTIN de Grèce. (Photo by Jean Tesseyre/Paris Match via Getty Images)
Orthodox Baptism Of The Crown Prince Paul Of Greece. En Grèce, en juin 1967, La reine mère FREDERIKA de Grèce, tenant son petit-fils dans les bras, lors de la cérémonie de baptême à l'église orthodoxe. (Photo by Jean Tesseyre/Paris Match via Getty Images)
The Christening Of Crown Prince Frederik & Crown Princess Mary Of Denmark'S Son Christian Valdemar Henri John At The Palace Chapel, Christiansborg Palace, Followed By A Reception In The Great Hall. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 22: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Daniel of Sweden attend the christening of their daughter and new Swedish heir to the throne Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary of Sweden at The Royal Palace on May 22, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Chris Jackson/WireImage)
UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 05: A photograph taken at the christening of the infant Prince George of Kent, the third child of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. Included in the group are the King and Queen ( who also celebrated her birthday on August 4th), Queen Mary, the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Kent with their children, King Haakon of Norway, the King of the Hellenes, Prince Bernhard and the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway. (Photo by Planet News Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)
GREECE - OCTOBER 01: The royal family of Greece at the baptism of Nicola, son of Constantine II of Greece - Date of Photo: 1969 ca. (Photo by Team/Alinari via Getty Images)
MONACO - SEPTEMBER 21: Baptism of Charlotte Casiraghi In Monaco, Monaco On September 21, 1986 - Rainier, Andrea and Caroline. (Photo by Patrick SICCOLI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Princess Caroline and husband Stefano with Prince Albert (future Albert II) and Laura Casiraghi at christening of Prince Pierre of Monaco december 28, 1987 . On Albert's kneel : Princess Charlotte and near her Prince Andrea . (Photo by RDA/Getty Images)
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), Prince Charles and their two sons Prince William and Prince Harry, attending the christening of Princess Beatrice at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, England, Great Britain, 20 December 1988. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - APRIL 14: Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark pose after the christening of their twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine at Holmens Kirke on April 14, 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
SPAIN - OCTOBER 04: Princess Elena and Jaime of Marichalar Spain on October October 04, 1998. (Photo by Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
NORWAY - OCTOBER 21: Princess SONJA holding her child Princess MARTHA-LOUISE on her christening in Oslo. The ceremonay took place in Oslo Royal Palace's chapel. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Princess Margrethe of Denmark and Prince Henrik at the christening of their son Prince Frederik in Copenhagen on June 24, 1968. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Although the Christening will be held behind closed doors, tourists and well-wishers have already flocked to the 16th century St James' Palace built by Henry VIII in central London.

"In the States, the royals fascinate people, especially William and Kate who are young and approachable," said Sean Tyrrell (44), a policeman from Manteca, California, outside the palace gate flanked by guards in red tunics and bearskin hats.

(The Herald)

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