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George's Christening: Part I, Kate in McQueen

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Well, if we felt pretty cheated these past three months subsisting on a few rare glimpses of Kate, or the rare quick public engagement, today was a royal feast. Senior members of the British royal family, as well as the Middleton family turned up at St. James's Palace for the christening of Prince George of Cambridge! Of course, it was a guaranteed occasion to bring out some serious royal finery and fashion, and when Kate walked down the portico toward the cameras, she delivered in every way.  She wore a beautiful ivory McQueen, which looks like a modification of this ruffle jacket, shared by @royaltyfair

I don't love the coat as sold by McQueen, it is just too much, but, I love the outfit that Kate wore today. She has that awesome knack of taking the crazy from high fashion and toning it down just enough, so she is unusual and/or surprising, but always looking classic, never crazy. Her clothes don't garner attention because they are whacked-out or pushing the envelope, they attract because they are a perfect balance. It is hard to get a great photo of the dress, but watch the video for a better sense of the movement:

We have barely seen George, and this is certainly our first good look at him, so my initial thought was, wait who is that child? It is amazing to see these three all together as a family.

Frankly, I thought that George was the spitting image of his mother today. With his dark looking hair and dark eyes, he looked more Middleton than Windsor. This is Kate below at her christening. They could be the same child!! This bodes very, very well. :)

Kate's outfit should pretty immediately remind you of her earlier McQueen choices, particularly the white ruffled coat she wore to her first Trooping in 2011 and then again to the Garter Service in 2012 where we got a better look:

Today's McQueen is even softer and more feminine. The ruffle along the jacket instead of the buttons, and the ruffled peplum, banish the more rigid military air of the other coat and add curves and interest. As soon as I saw her walking down the hall toward the cameras I was caught by this suit, and as I said before, in a good way. She is attention grabbing without being ridiculous in doing so, which is a delicate balance when you are wearing these designers. Of course, both these two pieces remind me of another white McQueen with elegant ruffled layering, and that is, of course, Kate's bridal gown:

The 22 guests didn't take long to file into the Chapel Royal. When the choir boys in their red and gold piped jackets hurried in there was an older woman smiley broadly; it was none other than nanny Jessie Webb! It was disappointing that the christening was private, although certainly very understandable.   The Chapel Royal is not my favorite royal place of worship. It has many qualities that could be fantastic, but ultimately, something is screaming 70's at me. They need to rehab.

The palace released the details, so we know that the two anthems sung were Blessed Jesu! Here We Stand (Richard Popplewell) and a personal favorite of mine, The Lord Bless You and Keep You by John Rutter. This recording is from the Queen's 60th wedding anniversary in Westminster Abbey. Clearly, it is a favorite with the royals as well:

Neither Pippa nor Harry were chosen as Godparents, but both took prominent roles in the service. Pippa read the lesson from Luke 18:
15. And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 17.Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it."
And Harry read from John 15:
1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and everybranch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
William and Kate did not give us any details into the thought process behind choosing George's Godparents, and I was surprised that they chose neither harry or Pippa. However, after thought it makes a lot of sense. Pippa and Harry will be a very close to this baby and will be pretty consistently present in his life. Given what an honor it is to be chosen, this was an opportunity for William and Kate to recognize others who won't be as close to George, but whom Wills and Kate would like to have a special connection to their son. With that in mind, their choices were not surprising. Zara Phillips Tindall, William's first cousin, was the closest member of the family to be chosen. She is obviously close to both the Wales boys and I am sure this was an important pick for William:

USAToday reports on the rest:
• Oliver Baker, who attended the University of St. Andrews with Will and Kate.
• Emilia d'Erlanger, wife of David Jardine-Paterson, who attended Marlborough College (high school) with Kate and also is an old friend to William. D'Erlanger introduced Will and Kate.
• Hugh, Earl Grosvenor, the son of the Duke of Westminster.
• Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, who served as private secretary to William, Kate and Harry from 2005-2012 and continues to serve part-time as principal private secretary and equerry, and whose son was in the royal wedding.
• Julia Samuel, wife of Michael Samuel, who was a close friend of William's late mother, Princess Diana.
• Zara Phillips, wife of Michael Tindall, William's cousin, granddaughter to the queen, daughter of Princess Anne the Princess Royal, who married rugby star Mike Tindall in 2011 and is pregnant with her first child.
• William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of Will's, son of Hugh van Cutsem, one of Prince Charles' oldest friends who died a few weeks ago. Will is godfather to van Cutsem's daughter Grace, who was in the wedding.
They all make sense. Old friends and family.  Harry and Pippa didn't need to be singled out. The ceremony took around 30 minutes, not long at all, and then they were emerging from the chapel. Kate was holding George this time and they looked amazing together. It seemed their dresses had been color coordinated. George's stunning baptismal gown was a profusion of lace beautifully complimenting his mother's ruffles. Not to get too excited, but they made an awesome pair!

ITV has great footage here of the royals leaving the service, and so great shots of Kate, the baby, William, and her dress! St. James's Palace is an old palace, built during the reign of Henry VIII, but it is right by Clarence House. So, after the service Charles and Camilla hosted a tea to celebrate. One of the tiers of the fruit cake was served!

This was so fun I will do a second post on the Middletons!


  1. The christening gown was a copy of the original, the original having become too fragile. I'll add that the original also probably had a very small neck opening, as babies were much smaller back when it was first made. My family's heirloom christening gown can't be closed at the neck.

  2. Yes! I believe the original was made in 1841. Hard to imagine still using something so fragile.

  3. George is one CUTE baby. Look at those cheeks! Kate looked wonderful. While part of me wanted something bold and wow, I also realize this wasn't the forum for it and will look forward to her next gala or whatnot. She wears the McQueen well and just looks so content and at peace. The color, while subtle, is actually extremely flattering on her and I much prefer the dress with the lesser amount of ruffles. Though ruffles never were my thing. William looks like such a natural with George. I love seeing men that are clearly doting and excited about their children.

  4. Hi! Kate looks stunning and very sweet! And OMG George! Very very cute <3

    Another Engagement for Kate!

  6. ^ Thanks for the link.. I wish I hadn't perused the forum though.. They're horrible over there!

  7. when do you think we will see the official photos of all four generations?

  8. Great post! One correction: Grace van Cutsem is not William van Cutsem's daughter, but his niece.


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