Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Victoria kisses her great-grandchild

June 29, 1891

Queen Victoria, accompanied by members of the royal family, attended the christening at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, of the first child of the Duke and duchess of Fife.   The Queen is the chief sponsor for her great-granddaughter.  Among the other members of the royal family were were present include the Queen of Denmark, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Princess Victoria of Wales, and the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, reports the New York Times.

The water used in the baptismal ceremony was brought from the River Jordan for this occasion.   The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London officiated at the ceremony.  The baby, who is the first grandchild of the Prince and Princess of Wales, was named  Alexandra Victoria. She will be styled as The Lady Alexandra Duff.

The Queen "stood by the baptismal font, holding the baby in her arms during the main portion of the service."  At the end of the service, Queen Victoria gave her little great-granddaughter "such a hearty kiss that it echoed throughout the chapel."

The Times reports that the Queen came from Windsor to London to "act as sponsor" at Lady Alexandra's baptism.   She arrived at Paddington at 11:35 by special train, and was escorted to the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace. by a detachment of the Royal Horse Guards.  She was driven in an open landau to the Chapel.

When she arrived at the palace, she was met at the Ambassador's Court by the Duke and Duchess of Fife, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Princesses Victoria and Maud.  Victoria took the arm of the Duke of Fife, and "passed up the chapel to the seats placed for the sponsors on the right side of the altar."  She was joined by the other sponsors, the Prince and Princess of Wales.  

Other seats were taken by Princesses Victoria and Maud of  Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Edinburgh and her three daughters, Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne, the Duchess of Albany, the Duke and Duchess of Teck, Princess Victoria of Teck,  Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg and Princess and Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar, who "were also of the Royal party."

Other guests included Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and their daughters, the Countesses Feodore, Victoria and Helena  Gleichen.

The christening was "of a private character," and there were very few present "besides the Royal Family and their equerries and attendants."   The altar was "prettily decorated with palms and lilies."

During the ceremony, the Princess of Wales took the infant from her nurse and placed her into Victoria's arms, who gave "the names Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise."

After the ceremony, the Queen returned "immediately to Windsor."

The Prince and Princess of Wales hosted a luncheon at Marlborough House for the other royal guests.

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