LONDON—Britain’s Princess Charlotte, the nine-week-old baby of Prince William and his wife Kate, is to be christened Sunday at a church on Queen Elizabeth II’s country estate.
The queen, her husband Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Kate’s family were among a small group of guests attending the event at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, near England’s eastern coast.
The church, close to William and Kate’s country house Anmer Hall, is where the royal family traditionally gathers for a Christmas service. It is also where Charlotte’s late grandmother, Princess Diana, was christened in 1961.
Charlotte, the fourth in line to the throne, is likely to make a rare appearance for the cameras. It’s only the second glimpse of the princess in public since she was born May 2.
Sunday’s event will see the Cambridges — William is known as the Duke of Cambridge and Kate the duchess — appear in public for the first time as a family of four. Celebrity photographer Mario Testino will take official photos of the royal family after the service.
Like her elder brother George, Charlotte will be christened in a replica of the intricate lace-and-satin christening gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, also named Victoria, in 1841. Since then until 2008, that original gown had been worn by all royal babies — including the queen — at their baptism.
Following royal tradition, the water used for the christening will be holy water from the River Jordan, where it is said Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
Ahead of the ceremony, palace officials announced that William and Kate have chosen five godparents for Charlotte. They included William’s cousin Laura Fellowes, Kate’s cousin Adam Middleton, and three of the couple’s friends.
Although the ceremony is private, royal fans were gathering near the church, hoping to get a glimpse of the baby as the royals arrive and leave.
“We just love the royal family. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make it to London to see Princess Charlotte when she was on the drive home from hospital. So we thought the next best thing, let’s be here for the christening,” said resident Lindy Diaper.