Britain’s Prince George gets low-key christening

Britain’s Prince George gets low-key christening

LONDON - Britain's Prince George, the son of Prince William and his wife Catherine, is to be christened on Wednesday in a private family ceremony far removed from the global media circus that surrounded his birth.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the head of the world's Anglicans, will perform the christening at the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace in London, Kensington Palace said.

George - who as third in line to the British throne is a future Supreme Governor of the Church of England and "Defender of the Faith" - was born on July 22 to the royal couple with the title of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Guests are expected to include Queen Elizabeth II, the young prince's great-grandmother, and William's father Prince Charles, although royal officials have only said that "close members of both families" will attend the baptism.

The choice of the Chapel Royal reflects William and Kate's attempts to keep a low profile, as most senior British royals in recent history have been christened at Buckingham Palace, the queen's official residence.

Kensington Palace, the couple's official residence, said it was a "personal decision" to use the chapel for the service.

Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton, who have played a key role in supporting the young parents, and her siblings Pippa and James are also expected to be there.

The royal family has said that photographs will be released after the service which will reportedly show the queen with three future monarchs: Princes Charles, William and George.

The names of godparents will be released nearer the ceremony although it is rumoured that William's brother Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton will be among them. There has also been speculation that William's close friends Hugh van Cutsem and Thomas van Straubenzee are in the running.

Staying out of the limelight

William, Kate and George have largely stayed out of the limelight since their only public appearance together, when they faced hundreds of reporters as they left a London hospital following the boy's birth.

They spent two weeks with the Middletons at their home in a village west of London, and William and Kate have made only a handful of public appearances since then.

The only sighting of George has been in a picture of him with William, Kate and the couple's dog Lupo which Michael Middleton took in the family's back garden.

The choice of christening venue is in keeping with their desire to stay low-key.

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