Royal Occasion

A History of Britain’s Royal Christenings (Photos)

On the occasion of Prince George’s christening, see photos from his christening and other royal christenings through the years.

Getty (4)

Getty (4)

In honor of Prince George's christening on Wednesday afternoon, we've collected a photographic walk through the ceremonies of other royals, from Queen Elizabeth's in 1926 to Princess Eugenie's in 1990. Note the frilly, white mainstay swaddling the fashionable newborns; For generations, all royal babies were christened in the same gown that was first made for Queen Victoria's daughter in 1841. In 2004, a replica was made, which is what Prince George will be donning.

Pool photo by John Stillwell

There's baby George! The heir to the throne was christened Wednesday in small ceremony attended mainly by family and close friends of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. William and Catherine announced his seven godparents ahead of the christening, which, breaking with royal tradition, are not royals (with the exception of his cousin, Zara Tindall), but are instead are mainly old friends of the couple. Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton, who are not godparents (guess they don't want George to learn how to party from his godparents), will both give readings. And although Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles are among the attendees, the christening will be frighteningly unroyal: it will be a small ceremony and William and Catherine will adorably serve a tier of their wedding cake for guests.

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Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, leave the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace ahead of the christening of the three month-old Prince George.

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Not the godfather, but a royal uncle nonetheless. Prince Harry leaves the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace, after the christening of the three month-old Prince George of Cambridge


Catherine's siblings, Pippa and James Middleton, arrive at Chapel Royal in St James's Palace in central London to attend their nephew's christening. Although not named among George's seven godparents, Pippa gave a reading during the christening.

Catherine's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, at the chapel ahead of their grandson's christening. Only close friends and family were invited to the low-key christening. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, held a private tea afterward at Clarence House.

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William's cousin, Zara Tindall, arrives with her husband, Mike Tindall. Zara is one of Prince George's seven godparents. She is pregnant with her first child, expected early next year.

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Michael and Julia Samuel, one Princess Diana's closest friends and one of George's godparents, arrive with Hugh Grosvenor (Earl Grosvenor), another godparent, at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace for Prince George's christening.


The Cambridge family with the Archbishop of Canterbury after George's christening.

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Prince William, clad in the fetching white gown, gazes at his mom Diana, Princess of Wales, as Prince Charles watches. William's christening was held in the music room at Buckingham Palace on August 4, 1982.

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This may have been the last time Prince Wiliam stole the spotlight from his younger brother. The tow-headed toddler gets smiles from his relatives and godparents at Prince Harry's christening at Windsor Castle on December 21, 1984.

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In 1999, a 16-year-old Prince William carries his godson, Prince Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark, at the baby's christening at St. Sophia's Catherdral in London.

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Before the scandals that would follow her mother and father erupted, Princess Eugenie was christened in 1990 at Sandringham Church surrounded by Princess Margaret, her mother; Sarah, Dutchess of York; her father, Prince Andrew; and Queen Elizabeth.

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There's no question where Princess Beatrice got her taste for eccentric hats. In 1988, the Duchess of York and Prince Andrew christened their first daughter in St. James's Palace.

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At Buckingham Palace, the Queen reaches over Princess Anne's shoulder to her 37-day-old son, Peter Phillips, after his christening in 1977.


Now flashback to 1950, when four generations gathered after Princess Anne's christening. Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) holds her daughter as her mother, Queen Elizabeth, and grandmother, Queen Mary, play with Prince Charles. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, smiles in the background.

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In 1948, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, happily pose with Prince Charles after his christening at Buckingham Palace.


Who photoshopped the funny hats out? In 1926, The Duke and Duchess of York (later known as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) are pictured with their daughter, who we now call Queen Elizabeth II, as she sleeps in a christening robe that has been used in the Royal Family for generations.