Prince Louis’ chris­ten­ing spe­cial

All eyes were on William and Kate’s bonny babe Louis as he made his sleepy way to his chris­ten­ing – obliv­i­ous to the pomp and tra­di­tion of the oc­ca­sion

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - COM­PILED BY KIRSTIN BUICK

IT WAS only his sec­ond ap­pear­ance in pub­lic – the first time the world had seen him since he made his de­but on the steps of the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hos­pi­tal just hours af­ter his birth on 23 April.

And hasn’t he grown into a bonny lit­tle boy? Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cam­bridge, swathed in yards of silk and lace, snoozed peace­fully in his dot­ing mother’s arms in the sticky Lon­don heat­wave, obliv­i­ous to the cam­eras whirring and click­ing around him.

The Duchess of Cam­bridge was the pic­ture of re­laxed ele­gance, beam­ing as she car­ried her 11-week-old son to­wards the chapel at St James’s Palace for his bap­tism ser­vice.

Kate was wear­ing a white dress by Alexan­der Mc­Queen – the de­signer she’s cho­sen for all three her chil­dren’s chris­ten­ings – and walked her baby up to greet the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, a step be­hind Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla.

Con­spic­u­ous by her ab­sence was Queen El­iz­a­beth (92), who opted out be­cause she had a busy week ahead – there were the cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions of the Royal Air Force (RAF) the next day and the ar­rival of US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in Wind­sor three days af­ter that.

Prince Philip, at 97, was al­ways a “maybe” – he’s re­tired from pub­lic life and makes only the oc­ca­sional ap­pear­ance. Which meant Charles (69) and Camilla (70) were the most se­nior roy­als and there­fore headed the pro­ces­sion.

William (36) held the hands of Prince Ge­orge (4) and Princess Char­lotte (3), both of whom were sen­si­bly dressed for the weather re­spec­tively in shorts and a pretty smocked dress.

Ever the charmer, lit­tle Char­lotte solemnly shook Arch­bishop Justin Welby’s hand as they en­tered the chapel. William then en­cour­aged his shy el­dest son to do the same be­fore giv­ing the prince an ap­prov­ing “well done”.

Be­hind the heirs came Harry (33) and Meghan (36). The Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex held hands and chat­ted qui­etly as they hung back from the crowd, with Meghan look­ing stylish in an un­der­stated olive green dress by Ralph Lau­ren.

Also on the guest list for the in­ti­mate cer­e­mony were lit­tle Louis’ six god­par­ents, and all of Kate’s fam­ily – in­clud­ing preg­nant sis­ter Pippa and her hus­band, James Matthews.

Af­ter a 40-minute cer­e­mony, the roy­als and their loved ones trooped out of the chapel and set off for a quiet tea at Clarence House.

TWO BY TWO

The duke and duchess hand­picked two hymns, two lessons and two an­thems to cel­e­brate their son’s spe­cial day.

The small con­gre­ga­tion sang O Je­sus, I Have Promised and Lord of All Hope­ful­ness from the pews of the chapel.

Louis’ god­par­ents were also in­volved in the cer­e­mony, with lessons from St Mark 10:13-16 read by Kate’s cousin Lucy Mid­dle­ton and Eph­e­sians 3:14-19 read by William’s old friend Guy Pelly.

The cer­e­mony also fea­tured two an­thems sung by The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal: This Is the Day Which the Lord Hath Made, which was com­posed for Kate and William’s wed­ding, and Suo Gân, a tra­di­tional Welsh lul­laby.

The orig­i­nal gown, made of fine Honi­ton lace lined with white satin, was worn by gen­er­a­tions of roy­als – more than 60 blue­blooded babes in all, in­clud­ing Charles, William, Harry and even the queen.

The last young royal to wear the gar­ment be­fore it was re­tired from pub­lic ser­vice was Lady Louise Wind­sor (14), daugh­ter of the queen's youngest son, Prince Ed­ward (54) and So­phie, Count­ess of Wes­sex (53), at her chris­ten­ing in 2004.

The queen then com­mis­sioned her dress­maker, An­gela Kelly, to make a handmade lace and satin replica to pre­serve the orig­i­nal. The first tot to wear the new robe was Louise’s brother, James, Vis­count Sev­ern (now 10), in 2008. Ge­orge was the sec­ond.

As Kate man­aged the baby, it was left to William to look af­ter Louis’ sib­lings, Char­lotte, in a flo­ral dress with a match­ing blue Alice band and shoes, and Ge­orge, in his sig­na­ture shorts and Peter Pan-col­lared shirt.

LEFT: Louis in the chris­ten­ing robe that Char­lotte and Ge­orge wore. RIGHT: An il­lus­tra­tion of the chris­ten­ing of Vic­to­ria, Princess Royal, in the orig­i­nal robe in 1841.

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