Future of British monarchy captured in official christening shots

2013-10-25 08:35

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London – The first photographs in 120 years showing four generations of present and future British monarchs were released, the day after the christening of Prince George, the newest member of the dynasty.

One of the four pictures officially released to the media shows a seated Queen Elizabeth II flanked by three future kings; her son Prince Charles, grandson Prince William and great-grandson George, who is being cradled by his father.

The images were taken by celebrity snapper Jason Bell in the morning room at Charles’s official London residence, Clarence House, immediately following the young prince’s christening at the nearby Chapel Royal of St James’s palace on Wednesday.

Other photographs show the three-month-old prince with his mother Catherine, the queen’s husband Prince Philip, William’s brother Prince Harry and Charles’s wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

The royals are pictured standing next to Catherine’s mother Carole Middleton, father Michael and siblings James and Pippa.

The young prince, third-in-line to the throne, is wearing the frilly cream lace gown in which he was christened, while his father and grandfather are both wearing blue suits.

The queen is wearing a sky blue ensemble designed by royal favourite Stewart Parvin and mother Catherine is dressed in a cream Alexander McQueen outfit.

The family is seated on giltwood seat furniture designed by Thomas Chippendale – thought to date from 1773 – and an oil painting of the young queen and late sister Princess Margaret hangs on the wall.

Also visible on a side table is a photograph of a young Prince Harry and another picture of him taken with Prince Charles during a trip to a Zulu village in South Africa in 1997.

The queen was one of just 22 guests at Wednesday’s ceremony, which afforded the public a rare glimpse of the new prince.

Television pictures showed the light-haired George Alexander Louis appearing wide awake and calm as he was carried into the Chapel Royal of St James’s palace by his parents.

The service was carried out by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual head of the world’s Anglicans.

The last photograph showing four generations of current and future British monarchs was taken in 1894, at the christening of the future Edward VIII.

In that picture Queen Victoria is holding the baby, flanked by her son – the future Edward VII – and her grandson – the future George V.

Royal supporters will be hoping the new prince will go on to have a more distinguished reign than that of Edward VIII, his counterpart in the 1894 shot.

Edward became king in early 1936, but triggered a constitutional crisis only months into his reign after proposing to American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

Unwilling to end the relationship, Edward abdicated and left the throne to his brother Albert, who officially became George VI, subject of recent Hollywood blockbuster The King’s Speech.

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