Capturing a Royal Baby Christening Then and Now


In 1841 Charles Robert Leslie wrote to Lord Melbourne requesting permission to paint the christening of Queen Victoria’s first child. After reading Leslie’s letter, the Queen agreed that Leslie could make a quick sketch at the christening.

For months after the ceremony, Leslie studied the Princess Royal, the Queen, and attendees except the Queen Dowager who was ill. One year later the painting was still unfinished. When the King of the Belgians finally received a print impression in 1849, he remarked that the likenesses were unsuccessful.

Since the birth of William and Kate’s son on July 22nd, the media has speculated about who will capture the first image of Prince George at his christening in October. Hopefully the photo will elicit more favorable comments than Leslie’s painting. No pressure.

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