Prince George, third in line to the British throne, was christened Wednesday at the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace.
His parents, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, kept the ceremony small, limiting the audience to family members and godparents and their spouses. Attendees included George’s great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, grandfather Prince Charles, uncle Prince Harry and Catherine's parents and two siblings.
The palace announced that George will have seven godparents: Prince William's cousin Zara Tindall; Oliver Baker, a friend of the couple’s from St. Andrew's University; Emilia Jardine-Paterson, a friend of Catherine’s from school; William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of William; Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former private secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry; Julia Samuel, a friend of William's late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales; and Earl Grosvenor, son of the Duke of Westminster.
The lack of foreign royals among the godparents is a break in tradition. William’s godparents, for example, include King Constantine II of Greece; King Haakon of Norway and Prince George of Greece and Denmark are godfathers to Prince Charles.
George’s christening gown was a replica of the outfit used for 170 years of royal christenings — including his father’s and grandfather’s — that was retired in 2008. The Duchess of Cambridge wore Alexander McQueen.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, performed the ceremony. Before the baptism, Welby spoke of the significance of the occasion on a video posted to his website.
"All babies are unbelievably special, not only royal babies," he said. But he added that christening Prince George, who as the future king of England will also head up the Anglican church, was an extra-special event.
"As a nation we are celebrating the birth of someone who in due course will be the head of state,” he said. “That's extraordinary. It gives you this sense of forward looking, of the forwardness of history as well as the backwardness of history, and what a gift to have this new life and to look forward."