Today we discuss a different type of gown – Christening gowns.
Since 1841 most members of the Royal family have has worn the same ancient christening gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Victoria. The gown is believed to have been made from the same silk and Honiton lace as Queen Victoria’s wedding gown.
The gown been carefully preserved over the years. Here’s a glimpse of the gown some of the members of the Royal Family that has worn it:
Princess Elizabeth of York, 1926
Prince Charles, 1948
Princess Anne, 1950
Here is some old news footage of the event:
Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones, 1964
Peter Philips, December 1977
It’s a bit of a mystery, but in the footage for Zara’s christening, Princess Anne mentions that Peter didn’t wear the gown. If anyone knows more about why that would be, please let us know in the comments! The Queen sure looks sweet here regardless:
Zara Philips, 1981
Here is the footage of the photocall after Zara’s christening. It’s a great peak into the Royal Family. At 2:30, you will hear Princess Anne talking about the christening gown. She says that Zara is wearing the same gown that she and the Queen both wore. She says Peter didn’t wear it because “he’s a boy.” It’s worth a look:
Prince William of Wales, 1982
A nice picture of Baby Wales in the traditional gown. He wailed for much of the photos, and Princess Diana later told Andrew Morton that she hadn’t been consulted on what part of the day would be a good time for the christening in terms of William’s schedule. Turned out it was the worst time! Interestingly, Prince William was christened on the Queen Mother’s birthday (August 4th):
Check out some footage of a wailing William at the photo call after his christening here:
Prince Harry of Wales, 1984
Absolutely the best royal christening photo ever!
And here’s some footage of the photo call for Prince Harry. In it, Prince Charles talks about all the other royals who have worn the gown. They all appreciate the history, it seems. Funny how he says, “it must get so incredibly hot inside there.” And then the Queen teaches Zara and Peter about the meaning of the word ‘dash’ and that they can use it when they are cross. LOVE it:
Princess Beatrice of York, 1988
Princess Eugenie of York, 1990
Eugenie’s Christening took place on December 23rd, at Sandringham, Norfolk, where the Royal Family spends Christmas. Is the a young Peter Phillips we spy, sticking a straw of sorts in Fergie’s face? Oh dear.
Lady Louise, 2004
Lady Louise, above, was the last royal baby to be christened in the original gown. At the christening of Prince Edward and Sophie’s son James, Viscount Severn, a replica of the gown was first used.
James, Viscount Severn, 2008
Savannah Philips, 2011
The most recent royal baby to use this gown was Savannah Phillips, daughter of Peter and Autumn Phillips, and granddaughter of Princess Anne. The gown is shown in it’s full glory, below.
So, the big question is, who will be the next royal baby to wear the gown?
Updated July 2013: We may have an answer to that question! Peter and Autumn Philips’ second daughter, Isla Elizabeth was christened in the same church as her older sister. The christening took place on July 1, 2012. However, we didn’t get a photo of Isla wearing THE gown, just a quick snap of her in this blue one:
Perhaps she wore the gown inside the church, and they changed her out of it in order to keep it preserved? Here’s to hoping. I mean, that blue dress is cute and all, but come on.
And now Prince George of Cambridge will be next!
Updated Oct 2013: For our post on Prince George’s christening, click here.