Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde celebrated their son's christening at Castle Ciergnon, just over 100 kilometres south east of Brussels, where Emmanuel's siblings were also baptised
Photo: © AFP
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The two-month-old baby is fourth-in-line to the throne
Photo: © AFP

12 DECEMBER 2005

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Chubby faced and cherubic, the latest addition to the Belgian royal family, Prince Emmanuel looked unfazed at being at the centre of a big occasion - his christening. The two-month-old baby - Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde's third child - was smartly dressed in a long satin gown, with a lace overlay for the ceremony in remote, 19-century Castle Ciergnon in the Belgian Ardennes.

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For much of the ceremony the little tot lay snuggled contentedly in the arms of his proud father, keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings. Led by King Albert II and Queen Paola, members of the entire family had gathered for the intimate candlelit service in the castle's chapel, where Emmanuel's siblings four-year-old Princess Elisabeth and Prince Gabriel, two, were also christened.

Also there for the happy event, were his godparents, Mathilde's sister, Countess Elisabeth d'Udekem d'Acoz and Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg.

Although Ciegnon belongs to the state rather than the royal family, it is one of several residences made available to the king.

Emmanuel Leopold Guillaume François Marie - to give him his full name - is fourth-in-line to the throne after his brother and sister, who'll one day be queen.

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