Prince George christening: Just an ordinary day in this new era of the British monarchy

Miraculously for posh people, Will and Kate have picked friends for godparents

Share

By Royal standards today’s christening of Prince George Alexander Louis, heir to the throne, was a wholly humble affair. OK, aside from the baby being christened into a church which he will eventually be supreme governor of, and aside from being doused with waters from the Rivers of Jordan by the Archbishop of Canterbury – yes, all that was a bit  bonkers. The service itself, however, was rather intimate.

A tiny guest list, a quick “in and out” running order, a distinct lack of horses, carriages, men in velour pantaloons parping bugles, and, thankfully, no more bloody boats. Perhaps Prince Philip has a contract clause nowadays denoting that  he will only do future public engagements if it doesn’t involve four hours on the Thames in sideways drizzle while being man-handled by Captain Pugwash.

Prince William, who is more everyman than many of the prats wandering around west and east London, arrived carrying the royal pudgy lump in his own arms, face first, like a bag of spuds. George himself is nothing to write home about at present. If any royal toady correspondent tries to write that he is either beautiful or unique they are telling a bald-faced fib. He is standard, requisite baby-shaped with translucent/mousy hair and a general look of dismay at being in any situation that doesn’t involve milk or being asleep. For this, I rather like him.

The Duchess of Cambridge appeared, like any new mum, a little spaced-out – almost as if she’d been up at 5am for an early feed and a boggle-eyed stare at CBeebies. The Middleton clan were at a thankful minimum. Zara Tindall arrived with husband Mike, a squash-nosed man who always looks thoroughly bewildered, as if he has just woken up after a particularly rowdy rugby stag weekend in some sort of terrifying parallel world where Princess Anne is his mother-in-law.

The christening very much felt like Will and Kate’s way of doing things. And all said, I rather like the growingly down-played pomp-phobic face of the new young monarchy. If they carry on like this they have a fighting chance of George actually becoming monarch without a revolution demoting him to some gulag in East Shropshire.

One of the most pleasing touches of Baby George’s day of officially renouncing Satan etc. was the selection of his godparents, who appear – quite miraculously for posh people – to be a collection of people his parents are actually close personal friends with. This flies in the face of most of monied-, or wishing-to-be-monied London who tend to use their offspring’s godparentage as tedious battering rams into other more lofty social circles.

This is why Elton John lives in a house with big gates and security guards, in constant mortal fear of the flapping of the stork at the Portland Maternity Wing. But no, no begging Obama or Clinton to be god-daddy for William and Kate, no tugging at the hem of Rita Ora. Instead, Zara Tindall and six other actual friends have been chosen.

It’s a small but important touch if a child hopes to have a normal life. William’s former private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton – who has been an emotional rock to William for years – has made the grade. William Van Cutsem, Emilia Jardine Paterson, Oliver Baker and Earl Grosvenor are all hands-on friends and Julia Samuel is a friend of Diana, William’s late mother. A privileged, pampered bunch they might be, but also they’re the sort of people who might have an actual bond with their baby. I’m not sure how much facetime Prince William ever managed with one of his own godfathers – King Constantine II of Greece – but the name does not suggest a man who knew his way around a Lego Duplo train set. It was a most ordinary very special occasion. Baby steps for the new era of the British monarchy.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: ICT Infrastructure Manager

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Edinburgh city centre scho...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Don’t pity me for eating alone, just give me a better table

Rosie Millard
Aerial view of planned third runway at Heathrow  

Heathrow expansion: This final 'conclusion' has simply fanned the airport flames

Chris Blackhurst
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most