The birth of a new royal baby is an exciting time for both the monarchy and the British public. And while christenings within the family are largely private events, royal watchers eagerly await the release of the official christening photos – a chance to not only take a peek inside the celebration, but also witness a moment in history. But what does it take to get the perfect royal christening photograph? While the finished product is always picture perfect, babies are babies and will behave as such – whether they are members of the royal family, or not. In recent years, we have witnessed a number of royal christenings, from Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, to Archie Harrison earlier this month. In her Christmas speech in 2013, five months after the birth of William and Kate's firstborn child, the Queen shared an insight into the royal christening photos, as she celebrated the arrival of her great grandson – who affectionately now calls her 'Gan Gan'.
The royal family pictured at Princess Charlotte's christening in July 2015
Speaking to the camera, with a photo from the christening showing the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and little George clearly on display, the monarch says: "Here at home my own family is a little larger this Christmas. As so many of you will know, the arrival of a baby gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope. For the new parents, life will never be quite the same again. As with all who are christened, George was baptised into a joyful faith of Christian duty and service. After the christening, we gathered for the traditional photograph. It was a happy occasion, bringing together four generations."
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As she speaks, footage shows the royal family sitting for the official photos, which were taken by photographer Jason Bell in the Morning Room at Clarence House, Prince Charles and Camilla's royal residence. George, dressed in the traditional royal christening gown, can be seen sitting on his mother's knee, surrounded by his immediate family - Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, Prince Philip and the Queen. The photographer can be heard counting to three before taking a snap, telling the family, "Really nice, ok so here we go." With clapping also used to engage little George, the family are directed by Jason to look "straight to me". And later, Kate can also be heard in the background, encouraging her young son, and saying: "George, good boy!" as he is held by his father, William.
With three royal christenings now under their belt, William and Kate have certainly learnt a trick or two about getting the perfect photo – as evidenced by the Duchess' snapshots of her own children. Most recently, she shared three pictures she took of Prince George in celebration of his sixth birthday, much to the delight of royal fans.