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Archbishop Welby baptises Princess Charlotte at Sandringham

10 July 2015


On tiptoe: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after the baptism, with the Archbishop of Canterbury

On tiptoe: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after the baptism, with the Archbishop of Canterbury

IN A private service attended by the Queen — a great-grandparent — and other members of the royal family, nine-week-old Princess Charlotte was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury in St Mary Magdalene’s, Sandringham, Norfolk, on Sunday.

The baptismal water was flown in from the River Jordan — as it had been for the baptism of her brother, Prince George.

In a short homily, Archbishop Welby said that "beauty of life" was the "implied prayer of the baptism service. . . In such times as ours, those who suffer — such as the wounded or bereaved in Tunisia and other places — need lives of beauty around them; lives that share healing and hope, offering to all around them, both in times of light and darkness, a vision of a Christ-filled future. . .

"At a baptism, our ambitions are rightly turned into hopes and prayers for the child; today, for Princess Charlotte. Everyone wants something for their children. At our best, we seek beauty — not necessarily of form, but of life."

One of Princess Charlotte’s ancestors, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, has been recognised as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Her life was "of transparent beauty, and [her] death one of beautiful courage and service," Archbishop Welby said.

"It is of such beauty that Jesus speaks when he talks of being great in the Kingdom of heaven. Such beauty of character begins with baptism, and is established in the habits of following and loving Jesus Christ; habits to be learned from parents and godparents, and the whole community of the Church."

Princess Charlotte’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, chose two hymns for the half-hour service: "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty", and "Come down, O love divine".

The five godparents were friends and relatives of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: Adam Middleton, Lady Laura Fellowes, Thomas van Straubenzee, James Meade, who read a lesson, and Sophie Carter.

Hundreds of well-wishers waited outside the church to see Princess Charlotte and her brother, Prince George, who is nearly two, as they arrived.

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