Prince George of Cambridge & His Upcoming Christening

First things first. We have a  name! Or three, in fact.

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Earlier today Clarence House announced:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son George Alexander Louis. The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. 

Our name predictions for a baby boy was posted exactly a month ago (on June 24) and we did pretty well! Check that here if you like. Let’s run it down.

First Name: George

King George with Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and his Queen consort Elizabeth
King George with Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and his Queen consort Elizabeth

The #1 Prediction for a baby boy was George, so hurray for us. The bookies thought so, too and even at Kate and William’s photo call yesterday one of the reporters flat out asked if the baby’s name would be George. William’s response? “wait and see, wait and see.”

We know that this morning the Queen paid a visit to Kensington Palace to see the new baby, and must have given the name her seal of approval then. Kate and William weren’t required to get it, but it must have been fun to have for them to have a little chat about it this morning. Then, they beetled off to Bucklebury where they must have had a final chat about it with Kate’s family before sharing the news with the world.

Off to Bucklebury
Off to Bucklebury

As we discussed in our baby name post, George currently sits at #12 for boys names in England and Wales. We’ll see if it shoots up to #1 now. And of course, the patron saint of England is St. George, and Queen Elizabeth’s father went by George when he was crowned king. So many Georges!

The Cross of St. George via The Telegraph
The Cross of St. George via The Telegraph

Middle Name #1: Alexander

Ok, this wasn’t on our list of predictions so this one was a swing and a miss. Love it, though. There is a lot of history with this name, particularly when it comes to the ladies. For example, Queen Victoria’s first name was actually ‘Alexandrina’ and the current Queen has ‘Alexandra’ as one of her middle names. Princess Alexandra, Lady Ogilvy (one of the Queen’s cousins)  is also one of Williams’ godparents.

Memorial to Queen Victoria outside of Kensington Palace
Memorial to Queen Victoria outside of Kensington Palace

Plus, it’s got a bit of a modern feel to it for the little chap.

Middle Name #2: Louis

Louis was our #3 prediction since it is one of William’s middle names. William was given the name as a tribute to Louis, Lord Mountbatten who played an important part in Prince Charles’ life. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex also shares this middle name, and he and Sophie named their daughter Louise.

Louis, Lord Mountbatten
Louis, Lord Mountbatten

Louis is is currently tied at #68 with Arthur for most popular baby names in England and Wales.

So there we go! George Alexander Louis is a lovely name and flows very nicely together. As far as why ‘William’ isn’t in there, I guess they just wanted to give the baby his own identity.

Thoughts on The Christening

Now that we have a christening to look forward to for the little Prince of Cambridge, let’s chat about what we can expect.

Venue

There’s been some speculation in the (mostly American) press that it will be held in Westminster Abbey. There is NO WAY in heck is that happening.

The Music Room at Buckingham Palace
The Music Room at Buckingham Palace

As with most things royal, I think we should look to tradition for the answer and here’s a fun fact for you: so far, four royal babies have been christened in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace. Four! And all of these christenings have been relatively recent: Prince Charles was the fist, followed by Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince William. They were all also christened there by the Archbishop of Canterbury, so I believe the Music Room it will be for Prince George.

As a runner up option, Prince Harry was christened at St. George’s chapel at Windsor Castle which would be quite appropriate for little George, too. We’ll see what they choose!

William taking the spotlight at Harry's Christening
William taking the spotlight at Harry’s Christening

It won’t be televised, but at the very least I think we can expect three or four official photographs to be released, along with a list of the chosen godparents.

So When Will it Be?

As far as when it will happen, it seems that most royal babies are christened at some point between four week and four months old. Prince William was christened on August 4th after his June 21st birthday, Charles on December 15th after being born on November 14, and more recently James Vicount Severn was christened on April 19 after his December 17 birthday. It’s all over the place!

We are talking about the third in line to the throne and future ‘Defender of the Faith, so I think a late September  to early October christening is likely as not to interrupt the Queen’s holiday in Balmoral too much.

I mean, we need more photos of her having a lovely time at the Braemar games, which happens at the beginning of September each year.

What a hoot
What a hoot!

The Christening Gown

Most important in my books is the christening gown. We’ve already hashed out lots of details of this tradition in our post.  British Royal Family Christening Gowns. It was published back in October of 2011 and it’s actually one of our most read posts ever, so let me just boil it down quickly for you.

Basically, since 1841(!), royal babies wore a gown first worn by Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Victoria. The last royal baby to wear it was Lady Louise Windsor. Here’s Prince Charles in the gown:

The Royal Collection

The Royal Collection

Then, when Lady Louise’s brother James, Viscount Severn was born, a new gown was introduced. As a press release stated at the time:

“The Christening Gown worn by Viscount Severn is a hand-made replica of Queen Victoria’s daughter’s Christening Gown, which was worn at subsequent Royal Christenings and has now been preserved. It is the first time this gown has been worn by a member of the Royal Family and was commissioned by The Queen.”

It  certainly is very frothy and lacy:

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God Parents

Also very important of course, is who William and Kate will choose to be godparents.  I’d not be surprised to see some of their close friends in the ranks, along with some family.

William’s six godparents included cousins such as the former King Constantine of Greece, Princess Alexandra, and Lord Romsey. There was a bit of a hullaballoo in the press at that time that none of Charles’ siblings were included in the group. Who knows if that is true, but for what it’s worth Prince Harry has six godparents as well and the Duke of York is one of them. Bottom line: siblings could be chosen!

Over in Europe, the royals have each other as godparents but I don’t really see that happening here since they don’t have the same close relationships. As fun as it would be to find out Princess Victoria of Sweden was in the ranks, I don’t think it’ll happen

So, here are my predictions. I’ve got five possibilities for each:

Godfathers:

  • Prince Harry! He’s going to be such a fun uncle.

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  • Thomas van Straubenzee:  William was a groomsman at his wedding to Lady Melissa Percy earlier this summer and they go waaay back.
William & Thomas back in the day
William & Thomas back in the day when William had lots of hair
  • Hugh van Cutsem– Hugh’s daughter Grace was a flower girl at the wedding (the one who covered her ears on the balcony). Here he is with his wife:

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  • Peter Philips – William’s first cousin, son of Princess Anne
Peter Philips with Isla and Savannah
Peter Philips with Isla and Savannah; Kate with Savannah and Lupo

Godmothers:

  • Pippa Middleton: so that there will be some Middleton representation in the ranks. My guess for the heir is Pippa, and the spare will have James Middleton as a godfather if he doesn’t do anything too embarrassing before then.
  • Zara Philips, William’s first cousin who’s expecting a baby in the new year
Zara receiving her silver Olympic medal from Princess Anne
Zara receiving her silver Olympic medal from Princess Anne
  • A Spencer Lady: So these are the last three guesses. Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah McCquorcodale or Lady Jane Fellowes would be a nice way to include Diana’s side. William, Kate, and Harry all showed up for Emily McCorquodale’s Jun 2012 wedding, so I think she could be another contender . Our post on that wedding always is inexplicably one of our top posts EVER and can be found here if you’d like to see.
That's Lady Sarah in the background
That’s Lady Sarah in the background

Any other ideas?

Christening Cake

No doubt little Prince George will have a christening cake or two. Evidentially there were several ‘christening cakes’ at Prince Charles’ christening in 1948. Some decorations put on the Charles’ cakes were kept and included in an exhibit marking the Prince of Wales’ 60th birthday put on by the Royal Collection.

For example, these silk flowers adorned a cake at his christening and his great-grandmother Queen Mary tucked them away with this hand-written note:

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This silver carousel was a topper for a christening cake as well. The Royals Collection’s website explains:

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“The silver carousel was made for one of Prince Charles’s Christening cakes by Lieut-Col. Bell and wounded ex-servicemen, and was engraved and polished by Peter Milton. It is engraved with the arms of his mother on one side, and of his father on the other. The baby in a cradle is rocked by a lion and a unicorn, supporters in the royal coat of arms.”

Perhaps they’ll bring out it for Baby Cambridge.

Christening Cup

Queen Mary gave Prince Charles this christening cup, which has a very far reaching history:

The Royal Collection
The Royal Collection

This silver-gilt Christening cup was given by Queen Mary to Prince Charles, her godson and great-grandson, on his christening in 1948. It was made by the English silversmith Thomas Heming and was originally a christening gift from King George III to The Hon. Augustus Legge, son of the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, who was christened in May 1773.

Another tradition to include! Time to pass it on, Charles.

Side Note: Baby Prince Charles also received this little fork, knife, and spoon in a leather carrying case.

The Royal Collection. The Collection of the Prince of Wales
The Royal Collection. The Collection of the Prince of Wales

But could anything be as cute as Princess Estelle of Sweden? It’s debatable. that little sash is tough to beat!

Princess Estelle of Sweden,
Princess Estelle of Sweden,

In case you haven’t had enough yet, here are our other posts on royal christening gowns and ceremonies. Have at ’em if you wish:

Royal Family of Denmark Christening Gowns

Princess Athena of Denmark’s Christening

Royal Family of Sweden Christening Gowns & Traditions

Princess Estelle of Sweden’s Christening 

 

Kate & William in Baby Blue & Other Musings

Well that was fun. Hurray for live streaming on the internet so we are no longer beholden to the news.

Everything that went down today outside the front door of the Lindo Wing was all well thought out and co-ordinated. I mean, this had been planned to precision, so let’s discuss.

Private Lindo Wing At St. Mary's Hospital

First up, we saw photographs of Kate’s hairdresser and an aide with a car seat heading in a back entrance earlier today, so it seemed Kate & William were preparing for their big exit.

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This brought back memories of seeing pictures of a woman looking alarmingly like Sarah Burton arriving at The Goring Hotel pre-wedding to make sure Kate’s wedding dress was just so. Remember that? She tried to hide with that get up, but no dice:

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Anyway, then there were two sets of visitors today. First we had Carole and Michael Middleton arriving in the mid afternoon, followed by Charles and Camilla who presumably needed a bit more time getting there after their engagements in Yorkshire.

Obviously, for a normal visit to the hospital the grandparents wouldn’t be getting all gussied up but when there are banks of photographers waiting, you put on a nice dress (which I love) and a smart jacket like the Middletons did.

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Interestingly they showed up in a cab. Is that cabbie going to have a story to tell, or what? Was it just a random cabbie or one that the Middletons call when they’re in London perhaps? I’m waiting for that to show up on the Daily Mail. I’m thinking that Carole and Michael drove in and went over to Pippa’s flat where they left their car, and then took a cab from there to the hospital with some help from William and Kate’s office  to co-ordinate it so that they could easily drive in, have the taxi waiting, and head off again. Yes, I think about these things.

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In yesterday’s post I mentioned I couldn’t really imagine that the Middletons would speak to the press afterwards but I’m glad I was wrong. Michael seemed a bit shy  (he just seems so darn nice what with his slightly rumpled pants and all) and like he just wanted to get in the cab already. But he stuck with it and let Carole do the chatting. Love how she said “Fabulously!” when she was asked how Kate and William were doing. It sounded very like Michelle Dockery on Downton Abbey. Fabulously!

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t4oQUK5RbE

Then up came Charles and Camilla and  they went in for a half hour or so. On the way out Charles spilled the beans about the baby that “You wait and see. You’ll see in a moment.” Hurrah!

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An hour and  half or so later, Kate and William made their exit.

First a stream of staff members came out to stand by the steps which is definitely something to write home about. That’s a good day at the office, am I right? And then Kate and William appeared in co-ordinated baby blue outfits, because of course.

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Do you think she had a pink polka dot dress on standby along with a pink button down for William? I must admit these are the things I think about and I know Kate does, too. I think she totally did.

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Hmmm….well, it looks like she had a few dresses to choose from at least:

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Also, she was not actively trying to avoid a Diana comparison since Diana first appeared with William in a green polka dot frock (which she had worn a couple of weeks prior at a polo match) on those same steps. So Kate really kept the traditions going today:

Diana Charles & baby

And while we’re at it, as we mentioned yesterday, Kate’s doctor was totally appropriately co-ordinated, too. He appeared last night in this pink shirt and blue tie:

The medical team in charge of the Royal baby leave the Lindo Wing

Back to William and Kate.

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After a few moments,  Kate did the hand over to William, then off they went down the steps they went for a chat with the assembled press. Kate looked to William to do most of the chatting. Here’s a transcript of everything that went down.

Media: a reporter says something like “Tell us about him, your baby boy” It’s so darn hard to hear what he actually said, so bear with me.

William: Well he’s got a good pair of lungs on him, that’s for sure. He’s a big boy. He’s quite heavy, but uh we’re still working on a name, so we’ll have that as soon as we can, but, uh, it’s the first time we’ve seen him really so we’re having a proper chance to catch up.

Media: And then another says something like “How are you feeling?”

William: Very emotional.

Kate: Yes, it’s very emotional. It’s such a special time. I think any parents I think probably sort of… know what this feeling feels like. (We’ll give her a break, she must have been tuckered out)

William: It’s very special.

Kate: Yes.

Media: There was a four hour wait between the birth and the announcement. That was time for you,  I assume.

William: It was and I’ll remind him of his tardiness when he’s a bit older. I know how long you’ve all been standing out here, so hopefully the hospital and you guys can all go back to normal and we can, you know, go  look after him…

Media: something about how the baby is looking

William: He’s got her looks thankfully.

Kate: No, no, no. I’m not sure about that.

William says something to Kate about walking down to the other reporters

Media: Ok I really can’t hear what the reporter is asking…it’s got to be something about something about the baby’s name

Updated July 24: The reporter was asking if the name would be George! And as confirmed today, the baby’s name is George Alexander Louis

William: (laughing) wait and see wait and see.

Media: Have you changed the first nappy?

William: Oh, we’ve done that already.

Kate: Yes, yes, he’s done the first nappy already.

William: It’s good.

Kate: He’s very, very good.

Media: Some sort of comment about the baby’s hair that I can’t quite make out

William: He’s got way more than me, thank God.

And then there were lots of thank you’s and off they went up the steps again and into the building to get Baby Cambridge all situated in the car seat.

Then out they came with William carrying the car seat and I’ve got to ask – was William driven home in a car seat or were they much more cavalier in 1982? I can’t make that out in the available videos.

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBRP2xeHyz0

William did an impressive job of getting it in the car seamlessly. Then off they went to KP, with William at the wheel. It seems like it was purposefully normal in what was obviously not a not normal situation and you gotta love that that’s how they wanted it.

So what is next??

There’s been a lot of talk about Kate heading off to her parents house for a few weeks and it’s possible that the drive to KP drive was a ruse and that they were heading to the Middleton’s after.  Logistically I think it’s far more likely that they’re staying in  their little two bedroom cottage in Kensington Palace. It’s called Nottingham Cottage or ‘NotCot’ and it’s their home at KP until their twenty room apartment is ready in the fall.  If you like, you can check out our post on NotCot here.

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We know William has a couple of week’s off, and they have some family in London that need to see the baby before Kate is spirited off to Bucklebury. Namely, the Queen. I can’t imagine that she’ll be  popping by the Middleton’s home with Philip in tow.

So, perhaps Kate and William will make the short drive over to Buckingham Palace at some point before the Queen heads to Balmoral on Friday for a wee visit.

Updated July 24: Kate came to William and Kate at Nottingham Cottage. I’m sure they had a chat about the baby’s name and she must have given George Alexander Louis the seal of approval, even though it wasn’t required. How nice. And Kate and William and Baby George are in Bucklebury now after having had a visit with Prince Harry at KP as well.

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And then there’s Harry, evidentally off in training. He must be itching to come for a visit as soon as he has some time off, and  there were reports that Pips and her boyfriend  have already been to KP for a visit. They must be happy to be chilling out now in sweatpants.

Before we sign off, Sophie (who was looking AMAZING in a summery white dress), spoke a bit about the news at her engagement today.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBzKOIISDWk]

She really seems genuinely excited and happy about the news, and very real about when they’ll likely meet the baby.She said:

“Not yet, I’ve sent messages, but I’m hoping in the next couple of days to catch up with them. I think they’ll probably be wanting to just be together at the moment… I think, well, having had babies myself I know that you really want to sort of close down the hatches and just be together with your immediate family in the first few days, so I hope to be able to see the baby sometime soon, but not plans as yet.”

She seems to totally get it! I wonder if Kate will be brave enough to take Baby Cambridge to Balmoral during the summer break so the family can all have a visit with him.

This is William and Harry with Charles mucking around at Balmoral in 1987:

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So hopefully we’ll have Baby Cambridge’s name reveal SOON…and then we have the christening to look forward to! More posts coming in the next few days.

Updated July 24: Hurrah for Baby George Alexander Louis

Thanks for popping by!

Photos: Getty/ Zimbio/ PA/ Splash News/ Rob Todd

Baby Cambridge is a…BOY!

As I’m sure you already know, it’s a boy! Big congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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I wonder if William and Kate have the BBC on so they can get a wee peak at the stream of constant coverage? We know they watched some of their wedding on the news before heading to Buckingham Palace for their evening reception, so I’m guessing they’re turning it on at least for a little while. Plus, they MUST be able to hear some of the cheering and bell ringing and what not going on outside the hospital. How exciting.

Ok,  let’ s recap the events of the day. Around 5:30 am this morning London time, Kate and William drove out of these Kensington Palace gates en route to the hospital. This photo was taken by our London-based Royal Poster two days ago:

Kensington Palace

The news first broke because two photographers spotted Kate and William arriving with their protection officers. Their take on what happened can be read here at The Standard. They decided to camp out by the back entrance last night in case something happened, but they promised each other that they wouldn’t take a picture of Kate. Kudos to them – they stuck by that decision. Pretty amazing.

While Kate and William were inside, the press waited and waited, really scraping the barrel to keep delivering news reports. It was getting pretty desperate for awhile. “Let’s recap again what the title will be….”

Meanwhile, as luck would have it my fellow Royal Poster was working just a couple of minutes away from the hospital today, and was able to walk over with the other “lookieloos and crazies” (as she put it) to check things out. She took this photo around noon:

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There were some fun tidbits that came out of all the waiting. For example, Royal photographer Mark Stewart tweeted that there was a sighting of one of William’s PPO’s arriving back at the hospital with a bag of goodies from Marks & Spencer. Love that.

And then official details were released by Clarence House at around 8:30 PM London time. Notably, the announcement was released before the whole Buckingham Palace easel situation happened. The press release reads:

“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4:24pm. The baby weighs 8 lbs 6 ounces. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edimburgh, The Prince of Wals, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry & families have been told and are delighted. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight. The medical staff present were Mr Marcus Setchell, Surgeon-Gynaecologist, Mr Guy Thorpe-Beeston, Obstetrician and Dr Sunit Godambe, Consultant Neonatologist at St. Mary’s Hospital.The names of the baby will be announced in due course. The baby is third in the line of succession after His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge.  He is styled His Royal Highness Prince [name] of Cambridge.”

A delay before the announcement was needed  to allow time for the news to be first shared with the Queen and other dignitaries. No doubt Kate and William also wanted some time to just have the news to themselves. That seems very William-like to keep everyone guessing! So really, by the time everything was announced they were getting the news out in time for the whole easel reveal to happen before it got too dark out:

The announcement was placed on the easel by the Queen’s Press Secretary and a footman. She really took her time making sure that the announcement was placed just right. Good thing she recently got a manicure, since there was a live feed on her hands for quite awhile as she adjusted this and adjusted that. Quite something.

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A close up:

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And then just a few moments ago Prince Charles released this very sweet statement:

“Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild.  It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy. 

Grandparenthood is a unique moment in anyone’s life, as countless kind people have told me in recent months, so I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future.”

This is the team that helped deliver the baby leaving the hospital for the night. That’s Marcus Setchell, the Queen’s surgeon-gynaecologist, in the middle. I’m thinking he chose to wear a pink shirt with a blue tie on purpose. Just look at his expression. He totally did!

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William won’t be making an appearance on the Lindo Wing steps tonight, because he’s staying at the hospital with Kate. That’s a first; Prince Charles went home for night back when William was born.

Here’s some great footage of Charles arriving the morning after William’s birth, along with a slew of visitors including Diana’s parents, her sister Lady Jane Fellowes, and the Queen. It’s kind of amazing how casual Charles and Earl Spencer were sauntering over to chat with the press. Can’t imagine that’ll be happening tomorrow with Carol and Michael Middleton.

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_CTBnH8jrQ

So far, no news on the name other than to say that it will be revealed “in due course”, which incidentally is EXACTLY what Charles said when talking to the press in the video above.  As has widely been reported, Prince William’s name was revealed a whole week after he was born, so let’s hope that Kate and William will have everything decided tomorrow morning 🙂

By the way, the name ‘James’ keeps popping up as a clear favourite and I’d be all over that, but Prince William has a first cousin named James (Prince Edward’s son Viscount Severn is named James) so I really don’t think they will go that route. Our post on our best guesses for a prince can be found here if you’re in the mood for more. I was so sure we had a little future Queen on our hands that I’m still stumped on what the name will be. Louis? I think I’m going with Louis…

We shall see how things go tomorrow. Maybe they’ll be ready to head home or to Kate’s parent’s house and we’ll have a moment like this one:

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