FASHION THROUGH HISTORY : Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive with Prince George at Chapel Royal in St. James’s Palace in central London yesterday, October 23, 2013 for the christening of the prince. Prince George was christened wearing a delicate lace gown that is an exact replica of one worn 172 years ago by Queen Victoria’s first born. An ivory gown made of delicate Honiton lace and white satin, it has been worn by every baby born to the British Royal family before him since 1841 . . .
Above & below : Pippa & James Middleton; Prince Harry; Prince William and baby Prince George; the Queen & Prince Edward at yesterday’s christening at St. James’s Palace
The original gown, a white Spitalfields silk-satin gown was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1841 for her eldest daughter’s christening. It was created by Janet Sutherland, the daughter of a Scottish coal miner from Falkirk, who received the title of Embroiderer to the Queen.
Above, Prince Charles was christened in 1948 wearing the historic gown. His first grandchild Prince George, however, would wear a replica of the original robe.
Until 2004, when it became too fragile to use, the gown was worn by more than 30 blue-blooded babies, including Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, and the Queen’s father—the Prince George’s namesake—King George VI. Now safely tucked away in storage, the original garment, created to resemble the dress that Queen Victoria wore for her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840, a family heirloom.
Above, the Duchess of Cambridge wore an Alexander McQueen ruffle-fronted dress with a Jane Taylor hat.
Above, Queen Victoria in 1894 at the christening of her great-grandson, the future King Edward VIII (1894 – 1972)
Above, Queen Elizabeth II and baby Prince Charles, 1948
Above, Queen Elizabeth with daughter Princess Anne at her christening in 1950
Prince William with Diana, Princess of Whales, 1982
Above & below, Prince William was the last heir-to-the-throne to wear the ancient christening gown. He was baptised two months after his birth, on 4 August, 1982, the Queen Mother’s birthday.
The venue for the christening, St. Jame’s Palace, also has a special significance for Prince William. The body of his mother, Diana, rested in the Chapel Royal for five days before her funeral in 1997.
Prince George with Prince William & Kate Middleton, October 23, 2013
Prince George’s seven godparents were announced ahead of his christening : Oliver Baker who went to St Andrews University with the duke and duchess; Emilia Jardine-Paterson, who uses her maiden name d’Erlanger in her working life as an interior designer, attended Marlborough College with the duchess; Earl Grosvenor, the son of the Duke of Westminster; Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, who served as private secretary to the duke and duchess and Prince Harry from 2005-2012, and is still principal private secretary and equerry on a part-time basis; Julia Samuel, a close friend of the duke’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and a trustee of charity Child Bereavement UK, which Prince William has supported; William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of Prince William; and Zara Tindall, wife of former England rugby international Mike Tindall, and Prince William’s cousin.
The ceremony at St James’s Palace was the first christening of an heir to the throne in 31 years. After the service, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, held a private tea at Clarence House, where guests were served slices of christening cake, a tier taken from William and Catherine‘s 2011 wedding cake.[images : ecouterre // hello magazine // the cocktail party // daily mail // mirror // vogue]