This Is What It's Like At A Royal Baby's Christening—Learn From Little Prince Louis!
This royal baby was showered with undivided affection and attention from his family as well as admirers from all over the world on this special day.
While everyone knows that a christening is a joyous occasion for parents far and wide, what piques the interest of many is how a royal one is far more elaborate and full of unique centuries-old traditions. It's certainly one of those once-in-a-lifetime events that this family celebrates differently from the rest of us!
For 11-week-old Prince Louis, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's littlest, his christening was by all means executed with grace and elegance. The summer event was held just hours ago with hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets to share their greetings, with many wanting to learn more about the private ceremony.
To satisfy your curiosity about what went on during the closed door 40-minute service, here's everything you need to know about baby Prince Louis' christening:
Where was it held?
Following the footsteps of his older brother Prince George, Prince Louis was christened at the Chapel Royal at St James' Palace, the most senior of all the royal palaces. The historic venue that has been around since the 16th century was once the British monarchy's main residence, but is now primarily used for formal family occasions—including religious events— in present day.
Was his family there?
Definitely! In fact, Prince Louis' christening was the first time Prince William, Kate, and their two older kids Prince George and Princess Charlotte made an appearance as a complete family of five.
It's also the first time that this tiny Prince said hello to the world, albeit sleepily, since we first saw him in April when he was born.
And extended family?
Of course, a royal christening wouldn't be complete without the rest of the clan's most senior members.
Accompanying Prince William and Kate were Prince Charles and Camilla, newlyweds Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Kate's mother Carole, sister Pippa and husband, as well as Prince Louis' godparents. Notably absent were Prince Philip and the Queen, the latter of whom was reported to have a very busy work schedule this week and unable to make it. (The Palace debunked rumors that it was the Queen's failing health that stopped her from attending. Rather, she is preparing for Friday when she is slated to meet with US President Donald Trump).
What about his godparents?
As many Filipino families can relate to, the choosing of godparents is a very special time for both the child and his parents.
Only the closest of friends and family are chosen, and for Prince William and Kate, it wasn't any different. On the roster for Prince Louis' christening were socialite Guy Pelly, British Army major Nicholas van Cutsem, Lady Laura Meade, Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Hannah Carter who are longtime friends of Prince William and Kate, and Kate's cousin Lucy Middleton.
Speaking of making appearances and impressions, what was his family wearing?
Impressing her followers with her wardrobe choice yet again, Kate arrived in an ivory number by her go-to designer Alexander McQueen, nude pumps by Jimmy Choo, and a very eye-catching headpiece embellished with dainty beads and florals by Jane Taylor. Her outfit mimicked the looks she sported in Prince George's and Princess Charlotte's christenings.
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, on the other hand, who is carving a name for herself as a modern royal style icon, broke her streak of pastel outfits with an olive green piece by Ralph Lauren. Taking her cue from her sister-in-law, she matched her dress with similarly hued shoes and gloves, as well as a hat and a belt.
Overall, their monotone ensembles were a nod to traditional royal wardrobe comprised of tailored pieces.
Prince Louis' clothes are also worth a mention
Today Prince Louis wore a replica of the Royal Christening Robe which was made in 1841 for the Christening of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal. The gown was subsequently worn by Prince Louis' great-grandmother The Queen, grandfather The Prince of Wales and his father The Duke of Cambridge at their Christenings. ?? Press Association
An interesting detail to take note of is Prince Louis' christening gown. Not only is it exactly the same one that his older siblings wore, but it's also a replica of the original created in 1841 by Queen Victoria for her daughter.
Wishing to honor tradition, the Queen commissioned her dress maker to make the same one, as the original had become too delicate to use.
Who officiated the ceremony?
The royal family is definitely well-connected with Britain's topmost religious leaders, which meant that Prince Louis was christened by none other than the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby himself.
If the name sounds familiar, Archbishop Justin was the same man who wed Meghan and Prince Harry during their May 19 wedding.
Was there music?
Yes there was, as there usually is during religious royal affairs. This time, The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal (the same group that sang at Prince William and Kate's 2011 wedding) provided the music, leading traditional hymns that included "This is the Day which the Lord hath Made" and Welsh lullaby, "Suo Gan."
What religious objects did they use?
FIRST PHOTOS: The Fantastic Five. Great to see the Cambridge’s as a family of five today at the #royalchristening of little Prince Louis. What a picture-perfect moment ?? #duchessofcambridge #princelouis pic.twitter.com/AG0gpUKAUP— Rosie Nixon (@Rosie_Nixon) July 9, 2018
Even before he's uttered his first words, Prince Louis is already getting a very royal treatment, beginning with the very special items used in his christening.
The royal family, or the Queen in particular, owns their very own font (the bowl or basin used in baptisms or christenings) that's part of her lavish jewel collection. It's decorated with cherubs playing harps and other elements of nature and had to be transported to the Chapel Royal from the Tower of London's Jewel House where the Queen's jewels are stored.
But it doesn't stop there; the Holy Water used for this ceremony was from the River Jordan itself, the site where Jesus is widely believed to have been baptized.
Did Prince Louis get gifts?
Of course! He received an exceptionally meaningful one from his uncle Prince Harry who gifted him with a first edition Winnie the Pooh book.
The prized piece of children's memorabilia was reportedly also a way for Prince Louis to get to know his grandmother, the late Princess Diana. The woman known as the People's Princess was known to love reading her sons bedtime stories at night, and Prince Harry wishes Prince Louis to be given the same privilege by his parents.
Was there a party?
Yes, but it was mostly for the adults, and less for the children.
The little Prince was sound asleep and very well behaved for most of the ceremony that ended with his family and guests moving to Clarence House for an evening of socials. (Clarence House, the official residence of Princes Charles also served as the venue of a private reception that followed Meghan and Prince Harry's wedding).
Most interestingly, the party included a very special item on the menu: cake, or more specifically, cake from Prince William and Kate's wedding from seven years ago!
It might shock those unfamiliar with the tradition, but for royal families, a tier of their wedding cake is often saved and served again when each of their children is christened. And no, the pastry hasn't gone stale and was very much still edible given the generous splashes of brandy added in the mixture that has helped preserve it.
Those are the details of a typical royal christening, with this one being that of Prince Louis', the fifth in line to the throne.
While royal events have downsized since the turn of the century and modern royals like the Duke and Duchess have adopted a simpler approach to special occasions, royal affairs still have a certain kind of flair we can't get enough of.
Photos from @kensingtonroyal