Led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the service lasted 35 minutes and the baby looked sleepy
A big day for little Prince George.
Lightly jiggled in his father’s arms, the 3-month-old looked slightly perplexed at the attention as his parents, Prince William and Kate, greeted clergy at the doors of the baby’s special christening service.
Led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the 35-minute, private ceremony started at 3 p.m. London time (10 a.m. ET) at the Chapel Royal in St. James’s Palace.
Shortly after her arrival with Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth spoke with William and Kate, with smiles all around. Kate – in an Alexander McQueen outfit and nude-and-ivory Jane Taylor hat – greeted George’s great-grandfather with a kiss on both cheeks and a small curtsy.
As if to underscore the continuity of the monarchy, there, too, at the chapel door were Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The palace said in a statement, “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen two hymns, two anthems and two lessons for the service.” The hymns are “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” and “Be Thou My Vision.”
The anthems were “Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand,” which Richard Popplewell wrote for William’s Aug. 4, 1982, baptism, and John Rutter’s “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.”
Wednesday, they were performed by the Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal and 10 Children of the Chapel Royal.
The palace added that the Processional Organ Music would be J. S. Bach s Fantasia in G (BWV 572), and the Recessional Organ Music C. M. Widor’s Toccata from Symphony No 5.
After the ceremony concluded, Prince George, who had water from the River Jordan, splashed three times on his head during his baptism, looked sleepy in the arms of his mother as Kate carried him from the Chapel Royal.
The first of the very select 22 guests started arriving at the chapel doors at around 2:45, with a group of godparents led by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton and William van Cutsem and their wives. Then came Zara Tindall, followed by the Middleton family, led by parents Michael and Carole.
Pippa momentarily stopped to speak with the Bishop of London, who is dean of the Chapel Royal, and with her brother, a bearded James Middleton.
Harry pulled into the palace in a green Land Rover.
As expected, Prince George wore a handmade replica of the royal christening robe, made by Angela Kelly, dressmaker to the Queen.
Outside, some hardcore royalists decked out in Union Jack clothing had been waiting since early morning. Michela Dallaserra, a Dutch tourist from Rotterdam, told PEOPLE, “We hope to see the Queen. I really like the British royal family, especially the younger generation. They are more friendly and relaxed than the older generation.
She added, “I hope I can see the baby and the Queen today. We have only seen a little of him. It is very exciting to have all four generations together.”
At the post-christening party, to be hosted by Prince Charles and Camilla at their London residence, Clarence House, the guests are expected to raise a glass to toast the little prince.
Also on the menu: something familiar. Kate and Prince William saved a few tiers of their spectacular 2011 wedding cake, baker Fiona Cairns has revealed – and one tier will be served to guests on Wednesday.
The Queen was the first to leave, around 4:30, and Prince Harry left in a dark green Land Rover about half an hour later, shortly followed by most of the godparents.
Kate, looking radiant and happily waving to the several hundred-strong crowd outside St. James’s Palace, was seen in the back seat of a Jaguar, just before 6 p.m.
• Additional reporting by JOANNE FOWLER