Prince George christened in London at St. James's Palace
LONDON (AP/WJLA) - Britain's 3-month-old future monarch, Prince George, was christened Wednesday with water from the River Jordan at a rare four-generation gathering of the royal family in London.
George, the son of Prince William and his wife, Kate, was christened by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace. The infant wore a replica of an intricate lace and satin christening gown made for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter and first used in 1841.
The original retired in 2004 when it was deemed too fragile by the Queen.
He arrived at the chapel in his father's arms with his mother by their side. He appeared to wave at his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, although it was really just William moving his infant son's hand up and down.
Kate wore a cream-colored dress and matching hat with her long hair brushed to the side.
The queen and her husband Prince Philip attended the event Wednesday, along with Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Prince Harry and other royals. Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton and her sister Pippa and brother James were also on the guest list.
The momentous ceremony was held not in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace – where Prince William and Prince Harry where christened – but in an intimate setting and place of great significance: Princess Diana's resting place the night before she was buried, where her coffin was laid.
With just 22 people in attendance, it is an important family affair. For the first time since 1894, four generations of royals are photographed together: the Queen along with the three heirs to the throne – Charles, William, and George.
William and Kate have broken from tradition and asked seven people -- which don't include Pippa or Harry -- to be godparents to their son, who was born July 22 and is third in line to the British throne, after Charles and William.
They are: Oliver Baker, a friend from St. Andrews University; Emilia Jardine-Paterson, who went to high school at the exclusive Marlborough College with Kate; Hugh Grosvenor, who is the son of the Duke of Westminster; Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former private secretary to the couple; Julia Samuel, described as a close friend of the late Princess Diana; Zara Phillips, who is William's cousin; and William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of William.
Palace officials said tradition would be followed and water from the River Jordan - where Christians believe Jesus Christ was baptized - would be used for the christening. The river's waters have often been used to make the sign of the cross on the heads of royal infants.
In Israel hours before the London christening, busloads of Russian tourists descended Wednesday morning on Qasr el-Yahud to immerse themselves in the River Jordan. The site - five miles (eight kilometers) east of Jericho - is considered Christianity's third holiest site after Bethlehem and Jerusalem
Charles and Camilla plan to host a private tea afterward at their Clarence House residence in London.
Some royal watchers camped outside the palace for more than 24 hours to obtain a good vantage point for watching the guests arrive, but the ceremony itself was private.
William and Kate hired photographer Jason Bell to take official pictures, which are expected to include a historic multi-generational photograph of the queen with three future monarchs: her son Charles, her grandson William and her great-grandson George.
The official photographs are expected to be released to the public on Thursday.