The inside scoop! Princess Charlotte‘s christening is a historic moment for many reasons. Not only is it a big day for the little princess herself (who is fourth in line to the throne), but it’s also the first time in three generations that a senior royal will be accessible to the public on her baptism day.
But while hundreds of eager members of the public gathered in the well-wishers’ paddock outside St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England to be part of the occasion and catch a glimpse of the newly christened 2-month-old princess, inside the church, the ceremony itself was a private affair for fewer than 30 guests.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose two hymns, one lesson, and two anthems for the christening of their daughter, Princess Charlotte,” Kensington Palace told Us Weekly. The hymns chosen for the intimate congregation to sing were “Praise to the Lord” and “The Almighty and Come Down, O Love Divine.”
One of Prince William’s closest friends, James Meade, was chosen to read the lesson (which is from Matthew 18, verses 1-5). The Sandringham Church Choir were on hand to help the congregation out with their hymns and to sing the anthems, “I Will Sing With The Spirit” and “God Be In My Head,” both by John Rutter.
After the ceremony, the processional organ music was R. Vaughan Williams‘ Prelude on “Rhosymedre.”
The christening itself was conducted by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby who also christened her brother, Prince George. The Archbishop was supported by The Reverend Canon Jonathan Riviere, the Rector of the Sandringham group of parishes.
The baby princess was doused in holy water taken from the River Jordan, where it is said Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. According to tradition, royal babies are christened using the ornate silver gilt lily font, which is usually on show as part of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.
While the actual ceremony was conducted behind the closed doors of St. Mary Magdalene Church, Mario Testino is taking the official photos. Stay tuned to Us Weekly to see the first official pictures of Princess Charlotte’s big day.
Additional reporting by Ellie Flynn.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!