PRINCE GEORGE CHRISTENING AT ST. JAMES CHAPEL TODAY
It is an important moment in the life of any first-time parent. And today, as the Duchess of Cambridge arrived for the christening of her son George, she certainly looked the part.
Stylish in a stunning cream ruffled suit by ALexander McQueen, the same designer behind her wedding dress, Kate paused with William, carrying Prince George, at the entrance of St James’s chapel where they were greeted by the Archbishop.
With its rippling ruffle detail Kate’s cream suit – and indeed, the cream outfits of Pippa and Camilla – perfectly complemented the Honiton lace christening gown worn by George today.
The two were among the last to arrive at St James’s Palace today after a procession of godparents arrived with their partners followed by the the Middletons, including Pippa Middleton in cream trapeze coat by British designer Suzannah Fashion and hat by Edwina Ibbotson, and mother Carol in floral-print navy and cream.
Momentous occasion: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their son Prince George arrive at Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace where they are welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Given that it was a very private christening, the gathering today was very small – just 24 guests were invited, with the list made of up close family members and godparents, the list of which was announced this morning.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose old friends rather than other royals and dignitaries to be godparents to three-month-old Prince George, it was announced today.
Prince William’s cousin Zara Tindall is the only member of the royal family to be godparent, while Kate’s old schoolfriend Emilia Jardine-Paterson and family friend William van Cutsem have both been asked to take on the role.
Intimate moment: Kate and Wills were accompanied only by their closest family members and chosen godparents
Dream in cream: The duchess chose an outfit by the same designer who created her beautiful wedding gown
Stylish: Kate wore a hat by Jane Taylor, a milliner she has used on many occasions before
Proud mother: The Duchess of Cambridge arrives for Prince George’s christening at St James’s Palace today
The other godparents are the couple’s university friend Oliver Baker, William and Harry’s Private Secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the Duke of Westminster’s son Hugh Grosvenor, and Julia Samuel, an old friend of Princess Diana’s.
The godparents and their spouses made up a crowd of around 24 people at this afternoon’s service.
Not only have the Cambridges ignored protocol by only inviting five senior royals, they have also broken from tradition by not having their son christened at Buckingham Palace.
Instead the future king will be carried and blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, in the little known Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace this afternoon.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married there in 1840, and George will be christened in a replica of the intricate Honiton lace and satin christening gown made for Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria, the Princess Royal, in 1841.
Intimate: The little-known Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace has been chosen for Prince George’s christening
The baby’s grandfather, Prince Charles, is one of five senior royals to be invited to Prince George’s christening
Prince George’s godmother Zara Tindall arrived at St James’s Palace this afternoon driven by husband, Mike
PRINCE GEORGE’S GUIDING LIGHTS: MEET THE GODPARENTS
Godparents: William’s cousin Zara Tindall and Kate’s schoolfriend Emilia Jardine-Paterson have been asked
Oliver Baker, pictured with Prince William at Cheltenham races, went to St Andrew’s University with the couple
Trusted: Willam van Cutsem, 34, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, 52, have both been asked to be godparents
Godparents: Diana’s old friend Julia Samuel, 54, left, and the Duke of Westminster’s son Hugh Grosvenor, 22
The friend of Diana: Julia Samuel
The Honourable Mrs Michael Samuel, 54, was a close friend of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. A mother of four who lives in west London, her son Benjamin, now 23, was one of Diana’s godsons.
Mrs Samuel is a psychotherapist and counsellor at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where she helps families who have lost a child or baby.
Julia Samuel (nee Guinness), seen with Diana in 1993, met her at a dinner party and they became firm friends
She helped launch Child Bereavement UK, a charity for families who lose a child or for children who are bereaved, in the presence of Diana. William is now one of the charity’s patrons.
Born Julia Guiness, her sister Sabrina was a girlfriend of Prince Charles. Mrs Samuel is married to businessman Michael,60, and their children are in their 20s.
The only member of the royal family: Zara Tindall
Married to rugby player Mike Tindall, with whom she is expecting their first baby early next year, Zara,32, is William’s first cousin and the only member of the royal family to be asked to be godparent.
A down-to-earth event rider who enjoys a drink and is happiest in a pair of scruffy jodhpurs and a fleece, gregarious Zara will help bring a sense of normality into the life of the future King. She won a team silver eventing medal at London’s 2012 Olympics.
Zara, pictured with her rugby-playing husband Mike Tindall, will help keep Prince George’s feet on the ground
Zara, who is said to be a particular favourite of her grandmother, the Queen, married Mr Tindall not at Westminster Abby but at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh in 2011. She pledged to honour, not obey, and kept her maiden name, Phillips, for work.
The obligatory van Cutsem: William van Cutsem
No royal occasion is complete these days without a member of this large Catholic family of Norfolk landowners, and William, 34, is the youngest of the late Hugh and Emilie van Cutsem’s four sons.
Educated, like his father, who was a close friend of the Prince of Wales, at Ampleforth, William is the only Catholic godparent and a childhood friend of Prince William.
William, seen here in 1995 with the two princes and their former nanny Tiggy Legge Bourke is an old friend
In May this year William married Rosie Ruck-Keene in the village of Ewelme, south Oxfordshire. Prince Wililam, who reportedly dated Rosie in 2007 when he briefly split from Kate, attended the wedding with his heavily-pregnant wife.
Wililam’s niece Rose van Custem was a flower girl at the royal wedding and was seen covering her ears when the crowds outside Buckingham Palace roared as Kate and William kissed.
The trusted aide: Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton
The 52-year-old former SAS Major, who has been a private secretary to William and Harry since 2005, has been a constant help and confidant to the young princes.
Married with four children and living in a pretty old rectory in Suffolk, Mr Lowther-Pinkerton was the most senior member of William’s team until he resigned as from his full-time post last month, becoming a one-day-a-week consultant, instead.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, seen here with Kate, has been a close confidant for both William and his brother
Trained at Sandhurst, the discreet former Irish Guard was attached to the SAS for two decades and served in the Gulf War, where he gained a reputatuion as a particularly capable officer.
He was equerry to the Queen Mother from 1984-1986, and has also run risk management training courses for journalists and travellers, schooling them in what to do if you are shot at and how to avoid being kidnapped.
The landowner’s son who likes to party: Hugh Grosvenor
At 22, Hugh Grosvenor is the youngest of Prince George’s godparents
Hugh, Earl Grosvenor, is son and heir of the Duke of Westminster, one of Britain’s richest people, and aged just 22, he will be Prince George’s youngest godparent.
The former Newcastle University student celebrated turning 21 in February last year with a lavish party at his parents’ pile Eaton Hall, near Chester, with entertainment from comedian Michael McIntyre and music from hip hop duo, the Rizzle Kicks.
Prince Harry attended the party, which was estimated to have cost several million pounds.
The Duke of Westminster’s land covers the most expensive real estate in Britain and includes 100 acres of Mayfair and 200 acres of Belgravia.
Hugh’s sister, Lady Tamara, married Wililam van Cutsem’s eldest brother Ed, 40, in 2004.
Unlike his father, who went to Eton, Hugh, Earl Grosvenor went to a state primary school followed by a private day school near his country home.
The Marlborough schoolfriend: Emilia Jardine-Paterson
Emilia, whose maiden name was d’Erlanger and who comes from Tiverton in Devon, has known Prince William since she was 19 and Kate for even longer having also attended private school Marlborough College with her.
She and the Duchess are extremely close, and they went to Ibiza together when the now-married couple split-up in 2007.
Emilia Jardine-Paterson, pictured on her wedding day with husband David, has known William and Kate for years
A talented interior designer, she is said to be helping the Cambridges renovate their apartment at Kensington Palace, which would include decorating Prince George’s bedroom.
She is married to David Jardine-Paterson, who will also be at the christening today, who is heir to a powerful Scottish land-owning family.
The friend from St Andrew’s: Oliver Baker
Oliver Baker, 31, known as Ollie to his closest friends, was part of the couple’s trusted inner circle formed when they all studied together at St Andrew’s University.
George’s now-godfather shared accommodation with them in the Scottish university town and was so attached to the area he married his wife Mel there. She will also be at St James’s Palace today.
Oliver Baker, seen here with wife Mel at a friend’s wedding, was at St Andrew’s with William and Kate