LONDON - Britain's royal baby Prince George has been formally christened at St James's Palace in London.
The three-month-old son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was baptized on Wednesday in front of his parents and other high-ranking royals, including Queen Elizabeth II, her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, and Williamís father Charles, Prince of Wales.
His brother Prince Harry and his parents-in-law Carole and Michael Middleton were also in attendance during the 30-minute service.
The baby boy wore a Honiton lace and satin gown, a replica of that first worn by Queen Victoriaís eldest daughter in 1841, for the ceremony in the Chapel Royal at St Jamesís Palace.
The service consisted of two hymns and two anthems, chosen by the babyís parents. The hymns were Breathe on Me, Breath of God and Be Thou My Vision, and the anthems were Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand - which was written for Prince William's baptism in 1982 - and The Lord Bless You and Keep You.
There were also two lessons - St. Luke chapter 18, verses 15-17, read by the Duchess of Cambridgeís sister Pippa Middleton, and St. John chapter 15, verses 1-5, read by Prince Harry.
After the baptism, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Duchess of Cambridge was seen beaming with delight as she carried Prince George from the chapel to a waiting car.
Princess Anne's pregnant daughter Zara was chosen as godmother, alongside Catherine's school pal Emelia Jardine-Paterson and Julia Samuel, a close friend of the prince's late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
Godfather duties fall to William and Harry's former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the prince's childhood friends William van Cutsem and Earl Grosvenor, and Oliver Baker, who attended St. Andrews university in Scotland with the royal couple.
Their decision to choose close friends as their firstborn's godparents breaks with royal tradition of asking members of foreign royal families and the aristocracy to take on the roles.
(AFP PHOTO/POOL/JOHN STILLWELL)
Just 21 guests were invited to the christening, a sign of how much his parents intend to guard the privacy of a baby born to be king.
Prince William, whose mother Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997, hounded by paparazzi, and his wife Kate only invited very close family members and godparents, according to a guest list released ahead of the 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) ceremony.
Millions of people watched coverage of the couple in July as they left the hospital with their son, the only public sighting of George since his birth on July 22.
"This is not a state but a family occasion and I think the royal couple want to keep George out of the public eye as much as possible to give him a normal upbringing," said Clarissa Campbell, historian of monarchy at Anglia Ruskin University.
"It's also very much Her Majesty's wish that the royal family is not seen as an expensive institution in these days."Follow @CanoeLifestyle