LONDON — The christening of Prince William and Kate’s firstborn, Prince George, will be marked with a set of commemorative coins, the Royal Mint said today.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby son will be christened at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace on Oct. 23, just over three months after his birth. It is the chapel where the coffin of William’s late mother, Princess Diana, was laid before the chapel’s altar for her family to pay last respects before her funeral in 1997.
The production of the commemorative coins, approved by William, his wife Kate and Queen Elizabeth II, will be the first time that new coins are produced to mark a royal christening in Britain.
The 5-pound coins will be made of solid gold, silver, and a more affordable option, and will sell for as much as thousands of pounds (dollars). The designs of the coins have not yet been revealed.
Buying the coins may be the only way the public can take part in celebrating Prince George’s christening, which will be a private event, attended only by close family. Official photographs will be released after the ceremony, Kensington Palace said.
The venue of the ceremony is a break from recent tradition: William, his father Prince Charles and the queen were all christened at Buckingham Palace, while Prince Harry was christened at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace is a lesser known and more intimate venue. Constructed by Henry VIII, it was decorated by Hans Holbein in honor of the king’s short-lived marriage to Anne of Cleves.
Prince George is the third in line to the throne, after William and Charles. His christening will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. The baby will wear a replica of a christening gown made for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter in 1841.