It is the first time we have seen the Cambridges together as a family of four publicly - and what a joyous day for it! The family made the quarter-mile walk from Sandringham House to the church. Interestingly the large traditional silver-wheeled Millson pram Charlotte travelled in has a family history of its own - it was once used for the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.
Here she is :)
It was an intimate ceremony attended by close family, including Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Middleton family and the godparents and their spouses.
|Kensington Palace Twitter Feed|
Prince George was impeccably behaved (and adorable as ever) as he held his father's hand during the walk.
Taking a peek at his little sister...
The Duke and Duchess chose five godparents for their daughter:
Adam Middleton - Kate's cousin, the son of Michael Middleton's brother Richard. Adam works for Mayfair firm Manchester Square Partners.
The Hon. Laura Fellowes - Princess Diana's niece, the daughter of Diana's older sister Lady Jane Fellowes and Baron Fellowes, who served as the Queen's private secretary throughout the 1980's.
James Meade - Prince William and James Meade have been close friends since they attended Eton together. He is the son of Olympic gold medallist equestrian Richard Meade. He has become of a close friend of Kate's too, and accompanied her to the Badminton Horse Trials after her brief split from William in 2007.
Sophie Carter - A friend of Kate's for years. Sophie isn't someone we've seen photographed much over the years, but she has been described as a "discreet and loyal" friend. Interestingly, Ms. Carter and fellow godparent Thomas van Straubenzee used to be an item.
Thomas van Straubenzee - Known simply as 'van' to his friends, Prince William and Thomas have been friends since they attended Ludgrove prep school in Berkshire together. He accompanied William on his gap year to New Zealand. Both William and Harry are patrons of a charity in memory of his brother, Henry van Straubenzee, who died in a car crash aged 18 in 2002.
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter noted all godparents share a common bond with William and Kate: "Each has a long, in some cases life-long connection to William or Kate. Trust and loyalty at the core."
As expected, thousands of well-wishers from the nearby Norfolk area and much further afield travelled to St Mary's to catch a glimpse of the Cambridges. The Palace said the Duke and Duchess were "pleased to welcome well-wishers" and were "delighted" the paddock could be made available.
|Kensington Palace Twitter Feed|
Royal commentators noted it is the first time that the christening of such a senior member of the Royal family has involved the public in any way and it was a much more public affair than Prince George's christening in 2013.
The Duchess carried her daughter into the church,
The Duke and Duchess's choice of venue was partly due to its proximity to Anmer Hall - the Cambridges' primary family home and the place George and Charlotte will be spend the early years of their childhood - and of course its royal history. The late Diana, Princess of Wales was baptised there and more recently Princess Eugenie received the sacrament there during a public service in 1990.
Princess Charlotte is the most senior member of the Royal family to be christened outside a royal residence for 120 years. The Queen’s father, George VI, was christened in the same church in 1895, but for the next three generations Royal palaces were used for the christenings of all senior members of the Royal family.
This photo offers an aerial view of the distance from Sandringham House to St Mary's.
The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who was assisted by the Reverend Canon Jonathan Riviere, Rector of the Sandringham group of parishes.
More from The Telegraph:
'Princess Charlotte's baptism will take place in the The Lily Font, a small, silver gilt vessel which is part of the Crown Jewels and has been used for almost all royal christenings since 1841.
Water from the River Jordan, where Christ was baptised by John the Baptist, has been flown to Britain for use in the ceremony, as is also traditional at royal christenings. Otherwise the service will be largely familiar to anyone who has attended an Anglican christening service.'
Decorated with lilies, ivy and cherubs, The Lily Font was commissioned by Queen Victoria ahead of the birth of her first child, Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, in 1840. It left London as a top secret operation went underway to move the font from the Tower of London to Norfolk.
|The Royal Collection|
William and Kate chose two hymns for the service: "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" and "Come Down, O Love Divine". The lesson was from Matthew 18, verses 1-5, read by godparent James Meade. Sandringham Church Choir sang at the service. Two anthems were chosen: "I Will Sing With the Spirit" and "God Be In My Head", both by John Rutter.
Princess Charlotte wore a hand-made replica of the royal christening robe, made by Angela Kelly, dressmaker to the Queen. The original Honiton lace and satin robe, was last used in 2004 with Lady Louise Windsor being the last royal baby to wear the piece. After years of wear it had become too fragile to use, so in 2008 Her Majesty commissioned a replica. It features the same length skirt, elaborate collars and bow as its predecessor. The first baby to wear it was was James, Viscount Severn, son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Prince George wore the robe for his christening in 2013.
A splendid shot of the Duchess with Her Majesty.
The Queen talking to Prince George. In the photo below, you'll also see Nanny Maria wearing the traditional Norland uniform.
The Duchess of Cornwall and Carole Middleton chatting.
The Middleton family were all smiles for the occasion. Pippa Middleton looked elegant in an Emilia Wickstead bespoke high-necked cream coatdress and a Jane Taylor hat.
We saw just a few photos of the godparents. Sophie Carter chose a striking coat for the christening.
Princess Diana's nice Laura Fellowes.
James Meade was all smiles upon arrival.
Links to William's mother were very much evident in the planning of this christening. As we noted above, Diana was also christened at the same church. It means both of William and Kate's children have a baptismal link to Diana, as Prince George was christened at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace where her body lay before her funeral in 1997.
According to royal sources, William wanted the date of the christening to be as close to his mother's birthday as possible - Diana would have been 54 last Thursday. Of course, Diana, is one of Charlotte's middle names and Diana's favourite photographer, Mario Testino, will take the official photographs.
|Princess Diana by Mario Testino|
After the service, the Duke and Duchess will gave a tea at Sandringham House. Guests were served slices of christening cake, which is taken from William and Kate's wedding cake. One imagines a selection of refreshments were enjoyed too, including sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and cream. Beverages of tea and perhaps champagne will be served. It is thought Prince William may give a brief speech before toasting his daughter.
Former royal chef Darren McGrady spoke to People shared the details of a royal afternoon tea.
'It's not a "high tea", as it has been called but an "afternoon tea", he points out. For the Royal family, a high tea is a nursery tea that Prince George might have if he was staying with the Queen. "That might be beans on toast, or little fish fingers," McGrady says.
They will likely use the hand-painted Meissen china, of which there are several sets at Sandringham and, in fact, the Saloon is decorated with the china, including vases, and antique tea sets.
He adds, "It is low key, and it's mainly family and a few friends. They will not sit at one long table. Some people will stand and drink their tea. Others, especially the ladies, will sit dotted around the room. The Queen doesn't eat much – for her afternoon tea is probably one square of sandwich and one piece of cake.
It is like Downton Abbey when they do afternoon tea. The sofas are laid out in U shapes and a small table in the centre so you can put six-inch side plates down," he says.'
The Duchess selected a bespoke Alexander McQueen cream coat dress for the event. The fit and flare design is a gorgeous piece which worked perfectly with the christening gown. The neckline and fit of the garment is just perfect.
Kate wore a pretty cream hat by milliner Jane Taylor.
A closer look at Kate's elegant updo.
Kate selected a pair of her Russell & Bromley shoes.
The Duchess accessorised with her Mappin & Webb Empress Pendant and the matching Empress Drop Earrings. It is the first time we've seen Kate wear the earrings publicly. They're available at Mappin & Webb from £3,450 (with thanks to Last Video Corner via Twitter and Anna).
|Mappin & Webb|
Meanwhile, Prince George looked adorable in the Smocked Set by Rachel Riley (with thanks to Prince George Pieces). It is described as a "traditional 2-piece smocked shirt and short set. The shirt is hand smocked across the chest with a vintage inspired design. Matching red shorts with button opening at the side - button onto the shirt for a formal look".
It is incredibly similar to the outfit Prince William wore to meet his little brother Harry for the first time in 1984.
There's a video available on You Tube showing arrivals.
It was a beautiful christening and all involved appeared to be having a wonderful day. It was wonderful to see the Cambridges walk to the church and the photos were beautiful.
We expect to see the official christening portraits by Mario Testino released in a couple of days.