London: The UK's royal family is gearing up for the christening of their newest member Princess Charlotte on Sunday where the two-month-old child of Prince William and his wife Kate will make her second public appearance.
The baby will be christened in a low-key ceremony in St Mary Magdalene church on her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's country estate of Sandringham in Norfolk, eastern England. This is the same church where William's late mother Diana, princess of Wales, who grew up nearby, was christened.
Princess Charlotte. Pic/AFP
William and Kate, the duke and duchess of Cambridge will appear in public for the first time as a family of four at their daughter's baptism at the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham.
Besides the Princess' great-grandparents - the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the small gathering at the traditional religious service will include William's father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and Kate's parents - Carole and Michael Middleton. Kate's siblings Pippa and James Middleton will also be present.
However, Prince Harry will not be present as he is on a three-month trip to Africa working on conservation projects. Her little brother, Prince George, who turns two later this month, will also be present. Charlotte's godparents - most of whom are likely to be close friends of William and Kate - will be announced ahead of the service and be among the small congregation in the 16th century church.
Although the ceremony, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby, is private, the Duke and Duchess have agreed to allow members of the public into the area outside the church known as the paddock to see Charlotte and the royals as they make their way to and from the venue - much like the arrangements for the Christmas Day service.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will baptise the Princess with water from the River Jordan. The same water was also used at the christening of George two years ago. Norfolk Police are expecting large crowds and have requested people to arrive in time for the opening of the paddock gates at 3pm local time.
The ceremony is due to start at 4.30pm. Superintendent Kevin Clarke said: "With this being such a special occasion we are expecting the area to be extremely busy on Sunday and encourage the public to heed our advice so they can enjoy the event safely."
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