Prince George was christened yesterday in a ceremony that spanned four generations of the Royal Family.
Making only his second public appearance, the royal baby appeared in the arms of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and took everything in his stride.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, greeted both parents’ families at the chapel in central London.
When the Queen’s car arrived, nearby doors in the palace opened and young George could be heard gurgling.
His grandfather Charles and wife Camilla walked forward to meet the Queen, who was already being greeted by the archbishop and the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres.
The grandfather was followed by William and Kate, with the duke holding his son in front of him and jiggling him up and down as he walked.
He was joined by his brother Harry, who greeted his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh as William told everyone: “He’s all ready”, adding: “So far so good.”
George, who stared curiously at his relatives as they chatted, was wearing a replica of a christening gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841, which almost touched the ground. The royal party spoke for a few more minutes and Kate walked over to greet Philip, kissing him on both cheeks before curtseying.
Proud father William told the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry that the content infant was the “quietest” he had been all day.
When the 35-minute ceremony was over, the pink-cheeked and peaceful baby prince emerged, cradled by his mother.
The day was clearly a happy event for the royals and Kate’s family – parents Carole and Michael Middleton and siblings Pippa and James – with a Kensington Palace spokesman saying after the service: “It has been a tremendously joyful occasion for everyone involved.”
The three-month-old baby, who will one day be king, was last seen when he was a day old, following his birth on 22 July.
On that occasion, William and Kate showed him off to the world’s media as they left St Mary’s Hospital in London.
Since then, his father has revealed that George has a good pair of lungs, but he appeared to be on his best behaviour yesterday for his first official engagement.
Earlier, the Cambridges announced George’s seven godparents, who include William’s cousin Zara Tindall and the duke and duchess’s former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. He continues to serve part-time as their principal private secretary and equerry.
Also chosen was Oliver Baker, and family friend Hugh Grosvenor.
Another moral guardian for the baby prince is Julia Samuel, who was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales.
William van Cutsem is one of four brothers who are old family friends of William and Harry, while Emilia Jardine-Paterson is an interior designer who went to Marlborough College with Kate.
The archbishop, who conducted the christening, told George’s parents and godparents that they had a “simple task” to “make sure he knows who this Jesus is”. He added: “Speak of him, read stories about him. Introduce him in prayer.”
Harry and Pippa gave Bible readings and the service also featured two hymns, two lessons and two anthems chosen by William and Kate, who wore a cream Alexander McQueen outfit and a matching hat by Jane Taylor.
One extra guest was the duke’s former nanny, Jessie Webb, who left the chapel chatting to George’s grandfather Michael Middleton.
Ms Webb has been helping the Cambridges with childcare duties on an ad hoc basis and attended the christening in her role as nanny.
The day ended with the guests enjoying afternoon tea at Clarence House hosted by Charles and Camilla, with the royals, Middletons and godparents served slices of christening cake – taken from a tier of the Cambridges’ wedding cake.
Friends and royals among the baby’s seven godparents
Zara Tindall is William’s cousin. As a professional horsewoman she shares her grandmother the Queen’s passion for all things equestrian.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton is a former SAS man, who spent 20 years in the army and was also equerry to the Queen Mother in the 1980s.
William van Cutsem is the son of the late Hugh van Cutsem, a close friend of the Prince of Wales.
Hugh Richard Louis Grosvenor, Earl Grosvenor, is one of four children of the Duke of Westminster.
Emilia Jardine-Paterson has been a friend of Kate’s since their school days at Marlborough College and was also a friend of the princes. She is widely credited as the person responsible for introducing the royal couple.
Oliver Baker is a friend of the Cambridges from their university days at St Andrews. The banker married Melissa Nicholson, a fellow St Andrews graduate in 2010, in a wedding attend by the royal couple.
In a poignant nod to William’s mother, one of her close friends will be one of his son’s godparents. Julia Samuel is chair of the Child Bereavement Charity, of which William has been a patron since 2009.