Christening Madness is upon us! Seriously. I can’t believe how excited people are getting about Prince George’s christening. It felt like Duchess Kate and Prince William were trying to make the christening into a low-key event, but it’s looking more and more like it’s going to be the biggest media-heavy event of the month. The christening goes down tomorrow, and I’m hoping we’ll have photos from outside the event – I don’t think cameras will be allowed in the chapel whatsoever. Sources claim Kate will wear McQueen. But what about Cressida? As we discussed yesterday, sources claimed that Cressida had been invited to the christening. But People Mag shuts it down:
Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas might be getting serious, but they’re not quite ready to attend sacred royal family occasions together.
Despite reports over the weekend saying Bonas was mulling over an invitation to this Wednesday’s Christening of Harry’s nephew Prince George, the 24-year-old in fact has not been asked and wasn’t expecting to be, those close to her say.
“It was always so unlikely that she would be invited. To say she is shy and mulling it over is rubbish,” a family friend tells PEOPLE.
An appearance at such an intimate royal family occasion would also put unwanted pressure on the couple. “If she went to this totally private service, it would be tantamount to saying they were about to be engaged,” a well-placed observer says.
The guest list for the service, to be held at the Chapel Royal in St. James’s Palace, is being kept to immediate family of George’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and friends who have been chosen as godparents of the now 3-month-old boy.
One man who certainly will be there is the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. He will conduct the service, and gives William and Kate some advice about the ups and downs of parenthood in a video released Tuesday.
“What a treat; what an amazing gift; what wonderful times that you will have,” he says. “There’ll be great times and tough times – there always are with children. Through Christening, you’re bringing God into the middle of it all.”
At the 45-minute service, the Archbishop will splash water on George’s head three times, rather than immersing him in the font at the Chapel Royal. He will then make the sign of the cross on his forehead. “It’s an extraordinary moment,” he says, “because that is the sign by which we understand that this person belongs to God.”
If the christening was really going to be such a private and Middleton-heavy event, I would say that Cressida’s appearance would be tantamount to an engagement announcement. But! It doesn’t really look like the guest list is all that elite. Us Weekly had an epic story about christening, and apparently Will and Kate invited a bunch of people that don’t have much to do with anything, like the midwives who helped Kate deliver Prince George. I mean, that’s nice that the midwives are invited, but William’s aunts and uncles aren’t invited!
Let the countdown begin! In less than two days, Prince William and Kate Middleton will present their firstborn child, 3-month-old Prince George, to be christened in a private ceremony at St. James’s Palace in London. Plans and preparations for the Oct. 23 event have been under way for some time now — and Us Weekly has new details on the who, what, where, when, and why.
As previously reported, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose the Chapel Royal for George’s christening in part because of the intimacy it offers. It’s also where the body of Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana, was kept for some time before her funeral in 1997.
“It’s a special place for William,” a source shares with Us. “Having the service there is his way of involving his mother, who he so wishes could be here for all of this.”
No one else could ever take her place, of course, but other loved ones can and will be in attendance. Kensington Palace won’t release a guest list until the day of the event, but “close members of both families” are expected — including, of course, George’s great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, his grandfather Prince Charles, his uncle Prince Harry, and his maternal grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton, along with the Duchess’ siblings, Pippa and James.
A source tells Us that the midwives who helped deliver the royal baby have also been invited. All told, the guest list includes fewer than 50 people.
The ceremony is expected to go on for 45 minutes, though the christening itself — conducted by Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby — will take only 25 minutes, with prayers and hymns sung by a choir. “They have to follow a pretty tight schedule,” a source tells Us, “so if George is crying, the show must go on, as they say.”
Afterward, family and friends will gather at Clarence House for a reception hosted by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. There, George’s parents will present the top tier of their wedding cake, which they saved from their April 2011 nuptials. “It will just be a small champagne reception,” a source tells Us.
For those not among the royal family’s inner circle, portraits will be released on Thursday, Oct. 24. And well-wishers are encouraged to donate to charity in lieu of sending gifts.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are incredibly grateful for the support and goodwill being expressed at this happy time. Their Royal Highnesses are grateful, too, for the many gifts they have already received,” the palace says. “To harness this extraordinary generosity of spirit, they suggest people might at this time look to support those more in need; perhaps a children’s charity local to them,” the palace continues. “Alternatively, you could look to support Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which is the charity of the hospital where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby was born.”
Alright. So the guest list includes the Queen, Charles, Camilla, Carole & Michael Middleton, Harry, Pippa… and the midwives. And Pippa will bring a date, I’m sure. But Harry won’t be able to. And no aunts and uncles and probably only one or two cousins (depending on who will be a godparent). Because I guess Kate figures that if William invites Princess Anne, then Kate should be able to invite Dodgy Uncle Gary? I bet the York princesses aren’t invited either. I do not get this.
Photos courtesy of WENN.