When Prince George was born on July 22, 2013, much of the Western world was ecstatic. The public had been guessing for months as to the gender of the royal baby, and pop culture seemed to be obsessed with everything Kate Middleton. Still, for the new prince, one of the most important events would be his Christening. Not only is this important for any member of the Church of England, but it is especially important for the future King, as he will also become Protector of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Prince George’s Christening ceremony ended up being a great balance of tradition and modernity.

Prince George Christening Gown

The baby Prince’s Christening gown is one way in which his parents chose to honor tradition. It was an exact replica of the gown each member of the royal family has worn since 1841 when Queen Victoria’s first child wore it. The original had been worn over 60 times. But after Lady Louise Windsor’s Christening in 2004, Queen Elizabeth decided that it was too delicate to be worn again and a new one was made. A team of seamstresses, including the Queen’s dressmaker Angela Kelly, worked at Buckingham Place to recreate the gown; Detailed with intricate bows and a high caller, the hand-made Honiton lace and ivory satin gown was exactly the same as the original 170-year-old gown. As a final touch, the gown was dipped in tea to give it an older look. It was worn for the first time by James, Viscount Severn, son of Prince Edward and Sophie, Earl and Countess of Wessex, in 2008.

Over 60 members of the royal family have been baptized in the original gown.

The future king wears a gown that replicates the one made in 1841.

As for the original Christening gown, it was actually made to resemble the wedding gown Queen Victoria wore just a year before in 1840. It was made by Miss Janet Sutherland. The Queen loved the Christening gown, particularly the cap sleeves, so much that she sent Sutherland a plaque that stated, “Janet Sutherland, embroiderer to the Queen.”

Details on Prince George’s Christening

For the first time in years, four generations of future monarchs are together.

For the first time in years, four generations of future monarchs are together.

The Christening of Royal Baby George was relatively private, with only 22 guests. This included Kate’s parents, Prince Charles and Camilla, the baby’s aunts and uncles, and the seven godparents and their spouses. Prince George was the first was the first future monarch in modern times to not be Christened at Buckingham Palace. However, the silver font used for Prince George’s baptism has been used at every royal Christening since 1841.

Breaking from tradition, George’s parents chose celebrity photographer Jason Bell to take the official photos. Likewise, George’s godparents are friends of his parents, instead of members of the extended royal family. William and Kate also waited to have the baby Christened at three months old, instead of just a few weeks old. Even though the baby unexpectedly was Christened at Chapel Royal in St. James’ Palace, the location has ties to Prince George’s family; Kate was confirmed into the church there; Diana’s coffin was there for five days before she was buried so that her family could pay their last respects.

George was baptized by Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justine Welby. He splashed the baby’s head using water from the River Jordan. Prince Harry and Aunt Pippa Middleton read some verses from the New Testament. The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal sang “Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand,” which was written for Prince William’s baptism in 1982. According to the Church of England , the Christening also includes the godparents committing to help the child come closer to God.

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