The private christenings of the British royals

Births Events

In contrast to some other monarchies the christenings of the British royals are rather private occasions. They often taken place in royal chapels or even in the palaces and are small, intimate ceremonies with few guests. When possible photographers like to take pictures of the arrival and departure of the parents with their child and guests, but it is not something that one has to do, often to the disappointment of media and fans. The less known the royals, the less we know about the christenings.

Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex to the child. Although there is no official maximum number of godparents, three or four is usual. The royals often choose more godparents for their children.

Whether the name of the godparents can remain private is an interesting issue. According to the rules of the Church of England the details of all christenings, including the names of godparents, are a matter of public record and have to be published. In England the baptism details can be viewed for a £30 fee. It seems royal christenings can be made an exception, even when going against the laws of the church. The register of the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle for example is  privately held by the Royal Household on behalf of the Crown. However there have been several christenings in churches that I have never seen the godparents being mentioned off. It seems the further away from the throne, the less information is being issued.

I did a quick research of the christenings of the Queen and her descendants, as the information about the christenings of other family members is quite irregular.

6 July 2019 – Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened in a small private ceremony by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday 6th July.

Godparents: The godparents, in keeping with the wishes of the parents, will remain private.

Pictures: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look forward to sharing some images taken on the day by photographer Chris Allerton.

16 March 2019 – Lena Tindall

Not announced. She was christened at St Nicholas Church in Cherington, Gloucestershire, by the Rev Dr Gerald South.

Godparents: Not announced. Apparently the Duke of Sussex, who attended, was one of them.

Pictures: A few snapshots taken outside of the church by a few (local?) photographers.

8 July 2018 – Prince Louis of Cambridge

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to announce that the christening of Prince Louis will take place on Monday 9th July at The Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London.

Prince Louis will be christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.

Godparents: Mr Nicholas van Cutsem, Mr Guy Pelly, Mr Harry Aubrey-Fletcher, Lady Laura Meade, Mrs Robert Carter, Miss Lucy Middleton.

Pictures: Outside upon arrival and departure at the chapel. Afterwards a few official photos were released.

5 July 2015 – Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to announce the christening of Princess Charlotte will take place on Sunday, 5th July at St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham.

Princess Charlotte will be christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.

Godparents: Sophie Carter, James Meade, Adam Middleton, Laura Fellowes and Thomas van Straubenzee.

Pictures: Outside upon arrival and departure at the chapel. Afterwards a few official photos were released.

30 November 2014 – Mia Tindall

Not announced. She was christened at St Nicholas Church in Cherington, Gloucestershire.

Godparents: Not announced.

Pictures: A few snapshots taken outside of the church.

23 October 2013 – Prince George of Cambridge

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased to announce the christening of Prince George will take place on Wednesday, 23rd October at The Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.

Prince George will be christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.

Godparents: Zara Tindall née Phillips, Earl Grosvenor, Jamie Lowther-Parkinson, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Julia Samuel, William van Cutsem and Oliver Baker.

Pictures: Outside upon arrival and departure at the chapel. Afterwards a few official photos were released.

1 July 2012 – Isla Phillips

Not announced. She was christened at St Nicholas Church in Cherington, Gloucestershire.

Godparents: Not announced.

Pictures: A few snapshots taken outside of the church.

23 April 2011 – Savannah Phillips

Not announced. She was christened at the Holy Cross Church at Avening, Gloucestershire.

Godparents: Not announced.

Pictures: A snapshot taken outside of the church by an amateur photographer just passing.

19 April 2008 – Viscount Severn

James was christened at the Private Chapel in Windsor.

Godparents: Mrs Mark Poulton (Denise), Ms Jeanye Irwin, Mr Alastair Bruce, Mr Duncan Bullivant and Mr Thomas Hill.

Pictures: Only one picture with the parents as far as I could see.

He was the first royal baby to wear the replica of the christening gown of Queen Victoria’s daughters. The new one was hand-made by the Queen’s dresser Angela Kelly and a team of dressmakers from the Buckingham Palace.

24 April 2004 – Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor

The christening of Lady Louise Windsor will take place at the private chapel at Windsor, on Saturday 24th April 2004.

Godparents: Lady Sarah Chatto, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, Lady Alexandra Etherington, Mrs Francesca Schwarzenbach and Mr Rupert Elliott.

Pictures: One official photograph was taken by Patrick Lichfield and released to the media afterwards.

23 December 1990 – Princess Eugenie of York

Eugenie was christened at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, by the Bishop of Norwich. She was publicly christened during morning service.

Godparents: Mr James Ogilvy, Captain Alastair Ross, Mrs Ronald Ferguson, Mrs Patrick Dodd-Noble and Miss Louise Blacker.

20 December 1988 – Princess Beatrice of York

Beatrice was christened at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London, by the Archbishop of York.

Godparents: Viscount Linley, Mr Peter Palumbo, the Duchess of Roxburghe, Mrs Harry Cottrell and Mrs John Greenall.

4 August 1982 – Prince William of Wales

William was christened at the Music Rome at Buckingham Palace, London, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie.

Godparents: King Constantine II of the Hellenes, Lord Romsey, Sir Laurens van der Post, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Westminster and Lady Susan Hussey.

21 December 1984 – Prince Henry of Wales

Harry was christened in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Robert Runcie.

Godparents: Prince Andrew, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Lady Vestey, Mrs William Bartholomew, Mr Bryan Organ and Mr Gerald Ward.

27 July 1981 – Zara Phillips

Zara was christened in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle by the Dean of Windsor, the Rt. Rev. Michael Mann.

Godparents: The Duke of York, the Countess of Lichfield, Mrs Jackie Stewart, Colonel Andrew Parker-Bowles and Mr Hugh Thomas.

22 December 1977 – Peter Phillips

Peter was christened in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, London, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Donald Coggan.

Godparents: The Prince of Wales, the Rt Rev Geoffrey Tiarks, Captain Hamish Lochare, Lady Cecil Cameron of Lochiel and Mrs Timothy Holderness-Roddam.

2 May 1964 – Prince Edward

Edward was christened at the Private Chapel, Windsor Castle, by the Dean of Windsor, Robert Woods.

Godparents: Prince Richard of Gloucester, the Duchess of kent, the Earl of Snowdon, Princess George of Hannover, Prince Louis von Hessen.

8 April 1960 – Prince Andrew

Andrew was christened in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, London, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher.

Godparents: The Duke of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, Lord Elphinstone, the Earl of Euston and Mrs Harold Phillips.

21 October 1950 – Princess Anne

Anne was christened in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, London, by the Archbishop of York, Cyril Forster Garbett.

Godparents: Queen Elizabeth (her grandmother), Princess Andrew of Greece, Princess Margarita zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Earl Mountbatten of Burma and the Hon Andrew Elphinstone.

15 December 1948 – Prince Charles

Charles was christened in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace, London, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher.

Godparents: King George VI, Queen Mary (great-grandmother), Princess Margaret, Victoria Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, the Hon David Bowes-Lyon, Lady Brabourne, King Haakon of Norway (didn’t attend) and Prince George of Greece (didn’t attend).

29 May 1926 – Princess Elizabeth

Elizabeth – now the Queen – was christened in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace, London, by the Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang.

Godparents: King George V and Queen Mary, The Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Mary Princess Royal, Lady Elphinstone, The Duke of Connaught.

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