Family snaps of history: Royal christenings over the last century

Tomorrow the royal family will celebrate another special occasion with the Christening of Prince George, just over three months after his birth.

Royal babies are often christened in the Music Room inside Buckingham Palace, where Prince William's ceremony was held. However the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have decided to hold Prince George's christening at The Chapel Royal at St James's palace.

Read: George's christening held in historic Chapel Royal

The ceremony will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revered Justin Welby, who said he was privileged and honoured to be conducting the celebration, and hopes it will inspire.

Read: Archbishop 'delighted' to conduct royal christening

Royal christening ceremonies are normally private affairs, attended only by friends and family members. Jason Bell will take the official pictures, which will be released on Thursday, October 24.

Read: Prince George's christening photographer announced

The Duchess of York, (later the Queen mother)  holds Princess Elizabeth surrounded by family and dignitaries on May 1, 1926.
The Duchess of York, (later the Queen mother) holds Princess Elizabeth surrounded by family and dignitaries on May 1, 1926. Credit: PA Wire

Royal christenings are steeped in tradition, with all babies wearing the intricate family gown made for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Victoria, in 1841. The gown is made from Spitalfields silk and satin, with a Honiton cotton lace overlay.

The last royal baby to wear the royal christening dress was the Earl and Countess of Wessex's daughter Lady Louise but it was now at the Museum of London and a replica has been made by the Queen's dresser Angela Kelly.

The Queen Mother,with her husband King George VI (then the Duke of York) and their daughter Princess Elizabeth at her christening.
The Queen Mother with her husband King George VI and their daughter Princess Elizabeth at her christening. Credit: PA Wire

The first baby to wear the new replica gown was Edward and Sophie's son James Viscount Severn in 2008.

The replica retains the same features as the original, including the lengthy skit and collar and bow, and has been worn by the daughters of Peter and Autumn Phillips, Savannah and Isla.

Princess Elizabeth with her son Prince Charles in Buckingham Palace and family and friends on December 15, 1948.
Princess Elizabeth with her son Prince Charles in Buckingham Palace and family and friends on December 15, 1948. Credit: PA Wire

The dress has been worn by 60 royal babies, including the Queen herself as well as the Princess Royal, Prince Charles, William and Harry.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh with Princess Anne after her Buckingham Palace Christening on October 21, 1950.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh with Princess Anne after her Buckingham Palace Christening on October 21, 1950. Credit: PA Wire

Princess Beatrice was the last royal baby to be christened in the chapel at St James's Palace in December 1988. Prince William was christened in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace.

The Prince and Princess of Wales with Prince William and his godparents.
The Prince and Princess of Wales with Prince William and his godparents. Credit: PA Wire

The names of Prince George's godparents have not been announced, but it is expected that friends of the couple will be asked, instead of dignitaries and foreign Royals.

The Queen, Princess of Wales and the Queen Mother sit and admire Prince William on his Christening, on August 4, 1982 Credit: Press Association.

Prince William has six godparents, including former King Constantine II of Greece, and the Duchess of Westminster, Lady Susan Hussey.

Princess Diana of Wales, with her son Prince William, as Prince Charles looks on. Credit: Press Association Archive.

Prince Harry, of Henry of Wales, was christened in St George's Chapel in Windsor, on December 21, 1984.

Members of the Royal family and Godparents after the christening of Prince Henry of Wales.
Members of the Royal family and Godparents after the christening of Prince Henry of Wales. Credit: PA NEWS/PA Archive/Press Association Images

He also has six godparents, including his uncle Andrew, the Duke of York, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, and Gerald Ward, a former officer in the Household Cavalry.

Prince Harry, as a three month old baby, on his mother's knee on his Christening day, December 21, 1984.
Prince Harry, as a three month old baby, on his mother's knee on his Christening day, December 21, 1984. Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Prince George's christening will be the first time the public see a professional picture of him, as previously Kate's father took the official portrait released to celebrate his birth.

Jason Bell, famous for his pictures of Hollywood and rock royalty, will take the official christening picture.

Read: Who is official christening photographer Jason Bell?

This picture, taken by Michael Middleton, shows the Duke and Duchess of York with their dog Lupo.
This picture, taken by Michael Middleton, shows the Duke and Duchess of York with their dog Lupo. Credit: Michael Middleton/PA Wire

Read: Prince George photos 'not very good'