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What to expect at Prince George's christening

25 July 2013
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Now that Prince William and Kate Middleton have revealed their firstborn's name, George Alexander Louis, royal watchers are now eager to find out the details of the royal baby's christening.It is expected that the baby, who will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, will wear a replica of the intricate 1841 Honiton lace and satin christening gown that was first worn by Queen Victoria's children, and was last used by Lady Louise Windsor in 2004. 

After being used for 30 christenings in the British Royal family, it was decided the robe was too fragile, so Angela Kelly, the Queen's senior dresser, and her creative team at Buckingham Palace made a replica in 2008. The dress retains the same features of a lengthy skirt and elaborate collar and bow, and was first worn by Louise's younger brother, James, Viscount Severn.Traditionally, royal baptisms take place in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace, where Prince William and the Queen's three eldest children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, were all christened.

Prince Harry, however, now uncle to the royal baby, was baptised in St Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle, so this could be another possible venue.

Prince George's christening will most likely take place in the autumn after his great-grandparents the Queen and Prince Philip return from their annual summer holiday in Balmoral.

Prince William was baptised just two months after his birth so it is expected his own son will follow suit.The Archbishop of Canterbury has presided over previous royal ceremonies and is expected to do so at Prince George's. Traditionally, royal christenings are private, family affairs, with the parent's family, godparents and close friends in attendance.Royal watchers have been placing their bets on who William and Kate will choose as godparents. The couple's siblings, Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton, who were best man and maid of honour at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding are shaping up to be the most likely candidates. Kate's younger brother, James Middleton, is also a possible frontrunner.

Outside the couple's family, close friends of William and Kate could expect to be granted the special role. William may turn to his old school friend, chartered surveyor, Thomas van Straubenzee, or return the favour to Hugh van Cutsem, whose little girl Grace is William's goddaughter.

Kate, meanwhile, may ask her friend from Marlborough College, Hannah Gillingham, who remains a close friend to the Duchess.

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