WATER WORKS: Britain’s smallest royal, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, made her official entry into the Church of England on Sunday afternoon at a christening service where she arrived in a vintage baby carriage wheeled by her mother. Prince William and Prince George of Cambridge were by the Duchess’ side, waving to the hundreds of spectators gathered outside the church.
The Cambridges arrived on foot at the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene on Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. The Duchess wore an ivory Alexander McQueen coat dress and a white Jane Taylor hat with feathers.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Rev Justin Welby, baptized the baby with water from the River Jordan over the 175-year-old Lily Font, which forms part of the Crown Jewels. The church, which is not far from the couple’s new home on the Queen’s estate, is where the monarch and members of the royal family celebrate Christmas each year. It is also where the baby’s maternal grandmother Diana, Princess of Wales, was baptized in 1961.
Princess Charlotte has five godparents and, unusually, none is a member of the royal family.
According to Kensington Palace, they include Prince William’s first cousin, Laura Fellowes, a daughter of Princess Diana’s elder sister Jane Fellowes; the Duchess’ cousin Adam Middleton; two of Princes William’s closest friends, Thomas von Straubenzee and James Meade; and Sophie Carter, a longtime friend of the Duchess.
The baby wore the same Victorian-style gown as her elder brother George. Made from silk, satin and lace, it is a replica of one worn by scores of royal babies from 1841 to 2004. The original was made for the baptism of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria.
The royals hosted a tea following the brief service with about 30 guests in attendance, including the godparents and immediate members of the Wales and Middleton families. Mario Testino was the official photographer, and guests ate sandwiches and a fruit cake that was a tier from the Cambridge’s wedding cake.