Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was christened at the St. James’s Palace Chapel in London. The very small and private service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, with only close family members, the seven godparents and their partners among the guests. Prince George wore a replica of the lace and satin christening gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter Victoria in 1841, which has been worn by royal children during their christening since. Shortly before the service, his godparents were announced: William Van Cutsem, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Oliver Baker (all of whom are close school/university friends of the couple), their long-standing Private Secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William’s cousin Zara Phillips, Prince Charles’s friend Earl Grosvenor and lastly, Princess Diana’s close friend Julia Samuel. For the service, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose two hymns, two lessons and two anthems. The Hymns were Breathe on Me, Breath of God and Be Thou My Vision. The lessons were from St. Luke ch. 18, verses 15-17, read by Pippa Middleton and St. John ch. 15, verses 1-5, read by Prince Harry. The anthems were Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand (Richard Popplewell) and The Lord Bless You and Keep You (John Rutter). The Lily Font and water from the River Jordan were also used during the baptism. Following the service, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall hosted a private tea reception in Clarence House, during which guests were served slices of christening cake, which was a tier taken from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake. Later, the Royal Family posed for the official photographs of the christening, one of which included a picture of the Queen with her three heirs, something that had not happened since Queen Victoria’s time.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge introduced their first child, Prince George Alexander Louis, to the world (although his name would only be announced the next day). The Duchess was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital, London, in the early stages of labour on July 22nd, and she gave birth to a boy weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces (3.80 kg) at 16:24 BST later that day. The birth took place in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington— the same hospital in which Prince William and Prince Harry were born, and William was by his wife’s side when she gave birth. Following tradition, a formal bulletin announcing the royal birth was displayed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace, although in a break with tradition the news was first conveyed in a press release. Gun salutes signalled the birth in the capitals of Bermuda, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada; the bells of Westminster Abbey and many other churches were rung and iconic landmarks in the Commonwealth realms were illuminated in various colours, mostly blue to signify the birth of a boy. Prince George’s birth marked the second time that three generations of direct heirs to the British throne have been alive at the same time, a situation that last occurred between 1894 and 1901, in the last seven years of the reign of Queen Victoria. Upon leaving the hospital, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge briefly spoke to the press (which had been gathered outisde the hospital for over a month) and were clearly overjoyed over being new parents.