Happy Christening Day, Prince Alexander!
Sweden’s youngest royal prince, H.R.H. Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil, was baptized with regal pomp and ceremony at a service held at Stockholm’s Drottningholm Royal Palace Chapel on Friday.
The newest addition to Sweden’s royal ranks showed a stoic side to his character on his big day. Unlike his recently christened cousins Prince Nicolas and Prince Oscar, Prince Alexander didn’t cry when Archbishop Antje Jackelén bathed his head in baptismal water at the font, which had been specially decorated with a selection of seasonal local fruit for the occasion.
All eyes were on the latest generation of Sweden’s royal family, as 4-year-old Princess Estelle, in an adorable pink dress (that perfectly matches mom!), and Princess Leonore, 2, wearing pale green with a floppy white bow in her hair, joined their parents in the palace chapel, decorated by florist Claes Karlsson in autumnal orange, echoing the original floral scheme he created for Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia’s June 2015 wedding.
As usual, the young princesses were on the go during the service, especially Princess Leonore, who bought her favorite toy rabbit along to play with. Her London-based younger brother Prince Nicolas, who celebrated his first birthday in June, showed some curiosity about his surroundings, looking out at other guests among the congregation when he wasn’t being held by his father or mother or playing with a small toy helicopter.
Prince Alexander seemed fascinated by Prince Oscar, sitting next to him on the lap of his mother Crown Princess Victoria. On more than one occasion the newly-baptized prince smiled and reached out to him. His friendly gesture was greeted by his 6-month-old cousin, the third in line to the throne, smartly dressed in a white shirt and grey dungarees. At one point, the duo enjoyed a period of synchronized thumb sucking!
For the duration of the service, Prince Alexander was wrapped in the sweeping family christening gown previously worn by his father and grandfather: It dates back to their early 20th century forebears.
Following Bernadotte family tradition, Alexander’s name will be embroidered into the lining of the satin woven silk heirloom, alongside the names of previous wearers including the current King Carl XVI Gustaf.
Members of the medical team that delivered the young prince joined his immediate family for the 35-minute service. The 145 guests also included members of the Corps diplomatique, regional dignitaries, and courtiers along with select representatives from the royal household as well as the parents’ personal friends.
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Alexander’s christening marks the third royal baptism within a year for the Bernadotte dynasty: after his elder cousin Prince Nicolas’s ceremony in October 2015, Prince Oscar followed him to the font in May this year.
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Prince Alexander’s five godparents were revealed on Thursday, the day before the ceremony. Preeminent among them is his aunt Crown Princess Victoria, heir apparent to the nation’s throne, who becomes a godmother for the 18th time.
Her other godchildren include Alexander’s cousin Princess Leonore; Norway’s second in line Princess Ingrid Alexandra, 12; Denmark’s Prince Christian, 11 and Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, the 12 year old heir apparent to the throne of the Netherlands.
After the service, guests were greeted by a 21-gun salute from a battleship afloat in waters near the place grounds, before going on to join the king for lunch.