The British royal court has announced that the christening of Prince George will take place in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London on Wednesday 23 October. The Prince will be baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. The christening will be a private event and will not be televised.
The choice of venue is somewhat surprising. After the chapel at Buckingham Palace was destroyed in World War II, the Palace’s Music Room seem to have been the preferred venue for the christenings of senior royals, i.e. Prince Charles in 1948, Princess Anne in 1950, Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince William in 1982. The last royal child to be baptisted in the Chapel Royal was Princess Beatrice in 1988. Prince Edward was christened in the private chapel of Windsor Castle in 1964, Prince Henry in St George’s Chapel at Windsor in 1984 and Princess Eugenie at St Mary Magdalene Church near Sandringham in 1990.
The Chapel Royal is fairly small and simple and lies within St James’s Palace. It was the venue for the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 and for that of the future King George V and Queen Mary in 1893. In 1997 the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales rested there from its repatriation from Paris until the eve of her funeral.
The names of the sponsors (godparents) will be announced closer to the date. These are likely to be close family and friends and not foreign royals, given that Prince William hardly knows any of his foreign counterparts.