22 OCTOBER 2007

Some 850 guests packed into the Klooster church in The Hague on Saturday to attend the christening of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Crown Princess Maxima's third daughter Ariane. The six-month old princess, who wore a baptism gown of Brussels lace, originally made for her ancestor Queen Wilhelmina in 1880, was the picture of composure, serenely taking in her surroundings for much of her big day.

When the moment came for her to be baptised with water from the River Jordan, however, Ariane reacted like any babe in arms, letting out a hearty wail and prompting a sympathetic look from Maxima.

She wasn't the only one struggling with the formal contraints of the religious ceremony. Her older sisters Amalia, three, and two-year-old Alexia – dressed in matching pink frocks and purple capes - were in cheeky mood, as was their one-year-old cousin Countess Leonore, as they mischievously covered their ears while playing on the church steps.

Among those attending the service were Queen Beatrix and Ariane's Argentinian grandparents on her mother's side – Jorge Horacio Zorreguieta Stefanini and Maria del Carmen Cerruti Carricart – as well as the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

Next up for busy parents Willem-Alexander and Maxima is a four-day state visit to India along with Queen Beatrix, which get underway on Wednesday.

Photo: ©
Like many a babe in arms before her little Ariane let our a wail as she was baptised on Saturday in front of her proud parents and 850 guestsPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
She was as good as gold, however, outside the church in The Hague as she calmly took in her surroundings from the safety of her mother’s armsPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Her sisters and cousin caused an amusing diversion during the service as they played on the steps and plugged their ears Photo: © Getty Images