Royal christening: the church's links to Princess Diana

St Mary Magdalene Church, where the christening of Princess Charlotte is being held, holds a special place in Prince William's heart. The picturesque 16th-century chapel on the Queen's Sandringham estate is also where his beloved mother Princess Diana was baptized on August 30, 1961.

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Lady Diana Spencer was baptised at St Mary Magdalene in 1961 Photo: Getty Images

Diana grew up at Park House on the estate, which is why the Spencers had close links to the royal family even before her marriage to Prince Charles.

The location must have been chosen by William and Kate Middleton partly as a tribute to his late mother. At the ceremony on Sunday July 5 their daughter will be baptized with her full name of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana – another nod to the dearly missed royal.


Diana's granddaughter has been named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana in her honor Photo: Getty Images

Other notable royal christenings to take place there include those of Queen Elizabeth's father King George VI in 1896, his sister Princess Mary, King Olav of Sweden – whose mother was a British princess – and Princess Eugenie.

The daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York was baptized during a public service at Christmas 1990. The ceremony for Eugenie took place nine months after her birth because her father was often away due to his naval career.


William and Kate are always given a very warm welcome at their local church Photo: Getty Images

While Charlotte's ceremony will be private, the royal parents have invited well-wishers to greet the family before the service because of their affection for local people.

William and Kate's home Anmer Hall is just down the road, so St Mary Magdalene must feel very much like their local parish church.

The traditional royal walkabout at Christmas takes place at the church, where the royals are always given a very warm welcome by residents.

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