Prince George christening: A guest list and the surprise godparent

The future king’s official entry into the Church of England


AP Photo/John Stillwell/Pool

Today marks Prince George’s formal entry into the Church of England. When great-granny, Queen Elizabeth II, is the church’s supreme governor it becomes more than a regular event, which explains why the officiant was the church’s leader, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury.

While some traditions continue–the holy water is from the River Jordan and the lily font was created by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert–others are being dramatically scaled back to respect his parents’ wishes for a small, private ceremony. On the way in William carried George, wearing a confection of lace and silk. And all the women wore elaborate hats so favoured by British women. Kate wore a “a sophisticated sinamay beret with delicate silk organza rose and classic veiling trim,” according to its maker, Jane Taylor Millinery, while her dress was by Alexander MacQueen.

As expected, Will and Kate chose a mixture of friends, advisers and family as godparents to guide their son during his spiritual life. As the Prince of Wales website explained:

  • Mr. Oliver Baker (Oliver Baker attended the University of St Andrews with The Duke and Duchess)
  • Mrs. David Jardine-Paterson (Emilia Jardine-Paterson attended Marlborough College with The Duchess)
  • Earl Grosvenor (Hugh) (Earl Grosvenor is the son of The Duke of Westminster)
  • Mr. Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton served as Private Secretary to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry from 2005-2012 and continues to serve part-time as Principal Private Secretary and Equerry)
  • The Hon Mrs Michael Samuel (Julia Samuel was a close friend of The Princess of Wales)
  • Mrs. Michael Tindall (Zara Tindall is The Duke of Cambridge’s cousin)
  • Mr. William van Cutsem (William van Cutsem is a childhood friend of The Duke of Cambridge)

While Oliver Baker and Emilia Jardine-Paterson were expected to be chosen, papers had wrongly prophesized William van Cutsem’s brother, Hugh, as a godparents (the entire van Cutsem family is close to the Wales’s) as well as friend Fergus Boyd.

In a nod to George’s late grandmother, Diana, princess of Wales, the parents chose her close friend Julia Samuel. And to honour the significant role played by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William’s former private secretary. He started as the man who guided William and Harry into their adult royal roles, and ended as a trusted confidante and close friend. His son, Billie, was a page boy at William and Kate’s wedding. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the choice of the Earl Grosvenor. The 22-year-old heir to the duke of Westminster wasn’t on anyone’s radar. Though he’s got the right connections, as the son of William’s own godmother, the duchess of Westminster, and brother-in-law of another van Cutsem brother, Edward.

The only member of the house of Windsor is William’s close cousin and friend, Zara Tindall, the Olympic equestrienne daughter of Princess Anne. Zara herself is pregnant, so the Queen will get another great-grandchild in the new year.

While the media captured everyone arriving and departing the Chapel Royal, we’ll all have to wait until tomorrow for formal pictures, which will be taken at the post-christening reception at Clarence House. One should be the much anticipated “four monarchs” snap, including the current and three future sovereigns. The last one was taken in 1894.

Prince George official christening photos
Royal christening 101

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Prince George christening: A guest list and the surprise godparent

  1. “…the much anticipated “four monarchs” snap, including the current and three future sovereigns. The last one was taken in 1894.”

    Incorrect. The Wikipedia entry for Edward VII contains a “four monarchs” picture from 1908.


    “King Edward VII of the United Kingdom (right) together with his son Prince George, the Prince of Wales, later George V (left), and his grandsons, Prince Edward of Wales, later Edward VIII, and Prince Albert of Wales, later George VI. Taken by Queen Alexandra, Edward VII’s wife. Printed in Queen Alexandra’s Christmas gift book, published for charity by the Daily Telegraph, London, 1908.”

    • But at the time of that picture no one knew they were looking at four monarchs, only three.

      • Doesn’t matter. Besides, Prince Charles could die tomorrow and we wouldn’t have four monarchs.

        • One can only hope that nimrod never makes it to the throne…bypass him completely and place the crown on William’s head.

          • “nimrod”? The great hunter? Really?

  2. i took the meaning to be four GENERATIONS of monarchs….Elizabeth, Charles, William and George

  3. Yawn..B..O..R…I…N..G… wake me up if the kid stutters like a motorboat,

  4. Adamson – Although King George the 6th did eventually become King he was not in the direct line of succession since of course no one could see the abdication of his older brother therefore the pic was not an official Four Monarchs snap – semantics true but perhaps it would make more sense if it said four generations of monarchs. Most families have one of those pics with the first great grandchild – we do.

  5. An accident of birth can certainly make your life one that is far more interesting than that of a person who fights the traffic every morning to go to work behind a retail counter simply to male a salary that is – probably – right around the poverty line

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