independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Low-key christening for royal baby Prince George

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.

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.

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)

"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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