All set for Prince George’s christening

By admin
17 October 2013

The next big event on the British royalty calendar is Prince George’s christening on 23 October and our royal blogger has the details.

The venue

What is clear is that the little prince’s dad, Prince William, has proved his mettle as future king, with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s blessing needless to say!

The Royal Chapel. Photo: Inpra

William and Catherine have decided that the christening should take place in the intimate Royal Chapel in St James’ Palace. This is the same chapel where his mom, Princess Diana’s body lay before her funeral. I was among the thousands of people who waited patiently to sign the memorial book for Diana. The long wait was worthwhile because while I was there Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip showed up to chat to mourners. Although I’ve never been inside the chapel it’s clear from pictures that it’s a small chapel that seats at most 100 people. It’s generally expected the Cambridges will invite even fewer guests to George’s christening. The guest list Of course Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will be present along with Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Catherine’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, and the couple’s siblings, Harry, James and Pippa.

William’s uncles and aunt – Andrew, Edward and Anne – have other engagements and won’t attend the christening. But don’t read too much in their absence. Prince Charles for instance didn’t attend the christening of one of Princess Anne’s grandchildren.

William is close to Anne’s children, Zara and Peter, and he and Catherine have been pictured playing with Peter’s two blonde daughters at horsey event where Zara was in the saddle. Of all his cousins I will expect to see the pregnant Zara and her England rugby player husband Mike Tiindall at the christening, along with Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn. Their kids and Zara’s firstborn who is due in 2014 will be the perfect playmates for George. I doubt if Princess Eugenie who recently started a new job in New York and her older sister Beatrice will be among the christening guests. The York sisters are part of Harry’s crowd, not his brother’s and there’s been talk of jealousy and competition between the York sisters and Catherine. The godparents It seems William and Catherine are going to ask their close friends to be godparents, rather than royals or titled aristocrats. I suspect William has taken a leaf from his mother’s book who complained she had no say in the ceremony or choice of godparents when William was christened. (At least South Africa could lay claim to fame as Sir Laurens van der Post was one of William’s godparents).

Hugh van Cutsem, whose daughter Grace looked so cross standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the royal wedding, could be one of the godfathers (Prince Charles is Hugh’s godfather). Others in the running are Catherine’s schoolfriend Emilia Jardine-Paterson, and Fergus Boyd, a financier and friend of both William and Catherine who shared a farmhouse with them during their student days at St Andrews. Hugh van Cutsem (left) and little Grace, the little cutie who entertained everyone with her cross expression at William and Catherine's wedding. Photos: Elite The christening gown The christening gown is an exact replica of the gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter and has been used for 167 years for royal christenings, including William. The last royal baby to wear the antique gown was Prince Edward’s eldest child, lady Louise but it has been decided the gown is too fragil and a replica has been made. The Royal family at Buckingham Palace, London, on the day of Prince William's christening. Standing (from left): the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh; seated (from left): Queen Elizabeth II, the Princess of Wales holding Prince William, and the Queen Mother. Photo: Elite It’s quite clear where Prince George gets his strong lungs from (according to dad William’s own admissions). Prince William started crying loudly during his christening and the only way his mom Diana could pacify him was to put her pinkie in his mouth. The pictures The christening picture I can’t wait to see is the one with Queen Elizabeth and her three living successors: Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George. The only other monarch with three living successors was Queen Victoria. When her great-grandchild Edward VIII was born in 1894, his dad the future George V and grandfather Edward VII were still alive. Queen Victoria in 1894 with Edward VII on her lap. Behind her is George V (left) and Edward VII. And there’s a special coin

Fans can order a memorial coin for Prince George’s christening can be ordered from the Royal Mint. Go here to see what it looks like.

Some coins cost hundreds of thousands of rands, but you can also pick one up for £13 (about R200, postage excluded).

Some of the memorial coins that can be ordered. The two gold coints on the left cost 500 000 pounds (R650 000) and the one on the right 3 pounds (R200).

-Arlene Prinsloo

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