Britain's future king Prince George to be christened

By Stephanie Haven, USA TODAY

LONDON - Britain's Prince George is set to make his second official outing later Wednesday in what is being dubbed a low-key christening in the Chapel Royal at St James Palace at the request of one of the world's most high-profile young families.

The christening of the third in line to the throne - born at St Mary's Hospital in London on July 22 - will take place behind closed doors starting at 10 a.m. ET and is expected to last for about 45 minutes.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released few details about the proceedings ahead of the ceremony, which Kensington Palace says will be attended by "close members of both families."

But the event, which is seeing strong interest from global media and assorted well-wishers as well as intense speculation over what the Duchess will wear and who has been invited, has already raised expectations here.

In a video released on YouTube ahead of the ceremony, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who as the head of the Church of England will perform the christening, said he hoped the baptism would act as a "trigger" for others to take a renewed interest in matters of faith.

"As a nation we're celebrating the birth of someone who in due course will be the head of state," the Most Rev Justin Welby said in the message, released Tuesday, adding "the good news is that God doesn't care who we are."

Londoners expressed mixed views on the eve of the historic occasion.

"It's like people are interested in tennis only during Wimbledon," said Will Cameron, 19, a college student. "Everyone talks about it for a bit, but then doesn't become a tennis lover.

Still, Marjory Laevans, 72, from Cheshire, said: "It's absolutely wonderful. They're such a nice couple, how could this not be exciting?"

Contributing: Kim Hjelmgaard


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