Kate Middleton stepped out for her first solo engagement last week (even playing volleyball in wedge heels!), and now it’s time for Prince George to have his first big royal event! Today, October 23, the 3-month-old royal baby will be christened at London’s St. James’s Palace.
While the royal christening is steeped in tradition, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge seem to be ensuring that the ceremony has personal touches. As reported earlier, the site of the christening itself is not traditional for the royals. British royals have typically been christened at Buckingham Palace, however The Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace holds special meaning for Prince William.
Royal reporter Roya Nikkah tells ABC News, ''The Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace has great significance for both William and Kate. The duchess was confirmed there a couple of years ago after the engagement was announced to William, obviously another step bringing her into the Church of England. But very significantly for William, it was Princess Diana's resting place the night before she was buried. It's where her coffin laid the night before she was buried, so of course for William that has great poignancy.''
Prince George is being christened in a replica of a satin and lace gown made for Queen Victoria. The queen’s eldest daughter, also named Victoria, was the first child to wear the christening gown in 1841, and a series of British royal babies have donned the gown since. Queen Elizabeth II commissioned the replica to be made in 2004.
The 45-minute ceremony, which will be presided over by Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, is expected to be viewed by about 50 to 60 guests. Don’t feel bad if your invite got lost in the mail — according to Us, this guest list is limited to close family and friends, including the child's as yet unknown godparents, plus a few of those who were instrumental in helping to bring Georgie into the world. That means that not only will Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and the Middleton family all be in attendance, but also Kate’s midwives are said to have received invites. Pretty sweet!
Us reports that a reception thrown by Prince Charles and wife Camilla at Clarence House will follow the ceremony. Guests will reportedly sip champagne and join the Duke and Duchess for a piece of the uppermost tier of their wedding cake, as is tradition. Let’s hope the palace has a good freezer — that cake is over two years old!
While we hope to get a peek of the adorable prince and the fam during the festivities on Wednesday, we’ll have to wait until Thursday, October 24 to see the official christening portrait, when it will be revealed to the public.