Great grandparents - the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh- and grand parents - including the Prince of Wales- attend christening of Princess Charlotte
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Princess Charlotte was christened in front of the Queen and close family and friends yesterday as the Cambridges had their first public outing as a family of four.
The nine-week-old was welcomed into the Christian faith, watched by proud parents he Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and older brother Prince George.
Great-grandparents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, grandparents the Prince of Wales and Carole and Michael Middleton, step-grandmother the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate’s siblings Pippa and James Middleton joined Charlotte’s five godparents for the celebratory occasion at Church of St Mary Magdalene in Norfolk.
The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby performed the baptism using the ornate silver gilt Lily Font which is part of the Crown Jewels.
The Princess was christened using holy water from the River Jordan, where it is said Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist.
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Charlotte was pushed to her christening in a vintage pram – which the Queen used for two of her own children – in what was only the royal infant’s second appearance in public.
Kate strolled from Sandringham House to the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Norfolk pushing the large traditional silver wheeled Millson pram – once used for the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex – while William held George’s hand as the prince, who is nearly two, waved at the crowds.
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After a short service lasting just over half an hour, the royals began emerging from the church.
It had been a long wait, some of it in torrential rain, but well-wishers said it was all worth it for that moment when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, plus Prince George and Princess Charlotte in a pram, came into view.
About 3,000 people had packed into the paddock outside the church to celebrate the royal christening.
Some of them had been queuing up for hours, and were still wet from the morning showers.
But then a murmur of excitement went around the crowd and the young couple and their two children appeared, just feet away, as they made their way from the house to the church for the christening.
While they did not stop to talk to individual people in the crowd, their good humour was there for all to see.
And their leisurely stroll gave everyone ample time to take photographs and videos of them to remember the big day. As soon as the couple disappeared into the church, the crowd erupted in amazement that they had come so closely to Royalty.
Everyone marvelled at how beautiful the Duchess of Cambridge looked and said it was worth the wait in the rain, and the many hours of standing up.
“I nearly cried,” one woman said. “It was beautiful, marvellous that they walked right by us, and were so close to us.”
No one had left when the couple joined the rest of the Royal Family in the church for the christening.
So when they came out again everyone was still in their viewing positions. This time, most of the Royal Family, except the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who were driven back to the house, walked back to the house through the crowds.
That included the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Members of the Middleton family also strolled by.
Again, a special cheer went up when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walked by.
Many of the well-wishers had driven hundreds of miles to be there, but they all left happy.
Ruth Matthews, from Rutland, had arrived at Sandringham about 8am.
She said her eight-year-old daughter Sophie was desperate to see the Royals in the flesh. She added: “It’s nice to meet new people. It’s nice. We’ve got a bottle of wine with us, and it’s nice for the kids.” She arrived with Louise Mohammed, also from Rutland, who was with her daughter, Yasmin Page, eight.
Lindy Diaper, from Bardwell in Suffolk, arrived just before 9.30am. She was wearing a Union Jack hat. She said: “I have always loved the Royal Family.
“When Princess Diana was alive I used to go and see her. My step-daughter Charlotte Rose, 15, also wanted to come.”
Margaret Tyler and her partner David Jones came from Wembley in London. She said: “I’ve got about 10,000 items of Royal memorabilia at my house.”
She spent 11 days outside the hospital in London where Princess Charlotte was born, waiting for her arrival. She said: “I love the Royals. It starts with the Queen.
“I have met her on three occasions. She’s so fantastic and enthusiastic. You can’t forget her after you’ve met her. I’m here to see this beautiful family together.”
Fareha Sohail, from Abu Dhabi, journeyed up from London. She said: “I’m a big fan of the Royals. When Princess Diana came to Pakistan and met Imran Khan I was at the fundraising dinner. We love Kate and Wills and the Queen.”
Laurie Spencer, from Florida in the US, had arrived in the UK intending to watch the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. She and her husband had tickets but she decided she would rather go to the christening.
She said that, while at dinner at their hotel in London, a man overheard them talking and offered to go to Silverstone with her husband, while she could go to Sandringham.
She said: “I love the royals. I’m a royal groupie. I was here when Princess Diana died. Prince Harry came to the States and he was so well received. I’m so excited to be here, much better than the Grand Prix.”
She met Jenny Gellert, from Sydney, Australia, on the train, and they both bought boots while waiting at King’s Lynn train station. “I go wherever the Royal Family goes,” the Australian said.