Published on July 9th, 2018 | by Sarah Jubb
Looking At Royal Christening Traditions
Today will see Prince Louis officially baptised at St James’s Palace, marking a special day for the family of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The fifth in line to the throne is only 11 weeks old and this will mark the first time he has been seen by the public since his birth.
Not only is the day special for the family, but also for his great-grandmother and great-grandfather as well! July 9 is the anniversary of the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s engagement to the Duke of Edinburgh. They would marry only months later, on November 20, 1947.
Prince Louis’ siblings were both christened soon after their birth, with Prince George on October 23, 2013 and his older sister, Princess Charlotte on July 5, 2015. He will be christened in the same place as his big brother, in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace. Princess Charlotte was baptised at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham.
The godparents of Prince Louis have also been announced today, with six being chosen by his parents. These include: Nicholas van Cutsem, Guy Pelly, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, Lady Laura Meade, Hannah Carter and Lucy Middleton.
Royal Christening Traditions
When it comes to the tradition of christenings, there’s no one who does it better than the Royal family! The baptismal font that royal babies are christened with is the special Lily Font, a large silver-gilt font that was commissioned by Queen Victoria for her children in 1840.
As you may expect, the font is not kept in a church but instead is kept at the Tower of London as part of the Royal Collection when not in use! The baptism of Princess Charlotte in Norfolk was reportedly the first time that the font had been removed from London.
For those eagle-eyed readers, you may notice that each royal baby has worn the exact same christening robe. That would be because they do! Until 2004, the robe was the same christening robe that was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1840 and had been worn by 62 royal babies.
In 2004, it was found to be too fragile to continue use and so a replica was made. This is the robe that both Prince George and Princess Charlotte have worn, and so we can expect to see Prince Louis wear it as well.
When Prince Louis is christened on Monday, he will be christened in the Lily Font Bowl. This font has been used to christen all royal babies since Queen Victoria commissioned it in 1840; Princess Eugenie is the only exception as she had a public baptism (Royal Collection Trust) pic.twitter.com/GBbj3P7oIR
— The Crown Chronicles (@crownchronicles) 6 July 2018
A Break With Tradition
The Royal family uses plenty of traditions in their public events and christenings are no exception. They are always private events with only family and friends invited, except for one occasion. In 1990, Princess Eugenie was given a public christening at a Sunday church service in the St Mary Magdalene Church. She is also apparently the only one to have not been christened with the Lily Font!
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