Prince William and Kate hold private christening for new prince

Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:24pm EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince George was christened on Wednesday in a service attended by just 21 guests, a small and private ceremony for a baby whose parents want to shield him from too much media intrusion.

Prince William, whose mother Diana was hounded by paparazzi and died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, and his wife Kate invited only very close family and godparents to the ceremony in the 16th century St. James's Palace in central London.

Television pictures gave the public the first glimpse of the baby - third-in-line to the throne - since his parents carried him out of the London hospital where he was born on July 22.

In the arms of his mother as she left the palace's Chapel Royal, George was dressed in a long cream satin robe that was a replica of an 1841 gown made for the christening of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter.

Kate, a style icon whose outfits often increase sales of similar garments, wore an off-white, ruffled skirt-suit, made by British fashion house Alexander McQueen, and pillbox hat by British milliner Jane Taylor.

Queen Elizabeth, her husband Prince Philip, heir apparent Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, and William's brother Harry attended the service in which Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby baptized the prince with water from the River Jordan.

"George is being brought up in a world very different from Prince William's childhood but the royal couple really is obsessed by privacy and I hope that does not impinge too much on their lives," said Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine and author of "A Century of Royal Children".

FANS AND FAMILY   Continued...

Britain's Prince William carries his son Prince George, as he arrives with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge for their son's christening at St James's Palace in London October 23, 2013. REUTERS/John Stillwell/pool