Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Question: The Christening of Victoria, The Princess Royal Painting

My grandfather has a beautiful painting of Queen' Victoria's christening (1841) and born in 1840. I am trying to find a list of people who attended the event so I can pin point who is in the painting.
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

The painting that your grandfather has is a reproduction of a work called The Christening of Victoria, The Princess Royal by Charles Robert Leslie. The original, an oil on canvas measuring 129.5 x 182.9 cm, is in The Royal Collection.

The Princess, who was born on November 21, 1840, was christened on her parent's first wedding anniversary, February 10, 1841. The christening robe that she wears is made from Honiton lace and white satin and was worn by all royal babies until 2008, when it was retired due to its age and fragile state. The baptismal lily font was commissioned by Queen Victoria. Made of Silver gilt, and measuring by height 43 cm; and diameter 43 cm, it is one of only two silver English fonts. The font is in the shape of a water lily, supporting a large shell. Inside the rim of the small shell were water lilies floating around the edge and water was specially brought from the River Jordan. The lilies were considered to represent purity and water lilies were associated with new life. This font has been used at all royal christenings since 1841.

Princess Victoria was christened in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace by William Howley, Archbishop of Canterbury. Her godparents were Leopold, King of the Belgians, Ernst I (her paternal grandfather), he was not present during the event and the Duke of Wellington stood proxy. The other godparents were Prince Augustus, Duke of Sussex (her great-uncle), Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of King William IV, the Duchess of Gloucester (her great-aunt), and the Duchess of Kent (her grandmother).

The painting commemorating the event depicts, The Dowager Queen Adelaide on the left of the font, who named the child Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. Others in the painting include the Duchesses of Gloucester and Kent, King Leopold I of the Belgians, and the Duke of Sussex (all in the group on the left). Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are on the right of the font.
© Marilyn Braun 2010

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