For his christening on July 9, 2018, Prince Louis was dressed in a “handmade replica of the Royal Christening Robe,” notes the official website of the royal family. To be clear, however, the word “replica” in no way implies the robe Louis wore was anything less than steeped in royal history. In fact, it was worn by both of Louis’s older siblings, Prince George and Prince Charlotte, as well as five other royal babies in the past 11 years—make sure you take a peek at these adorable royal baby photos from throughout history. Here are some fascinating facts about the replica and the original:
- The first baby to wear the replica was Viscount Severn, the second child of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest son) at his 2008 christening.
- The last baby to wear the original Royal Christening Robe was Viscount Severn’s elder sister, Lady Louise Windsor at her 2004 christening, after which The Queen commissioned Angela Kelly, Dressmaker to the Queen, to make a hand-made replica of the Royal Christening Robe in order to preserve the original.
- The original Royal Christening Robe was commissioned by Queen Victoria for the christening of her eldest daughter, Princess Victoria. Her christening took place on February 10, 1841, the first wedding anniversary of her parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Bonus fact about Princess Vicky: she grew up to be the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, German Emporer and King of Prussia.
- The original gown was made of silk spun by Spitalfields of London and lace handmade by Honiton of Devon and was intended to resemble Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. Victoria chose Spitalfields and Honiton because both were local businesses that she deemed could use the revenue and publicity.
- The original was designed and made by Janet Sutherland, a coal miner’s daughter, who became Queen Victoria’s “Embroiderer to the Queen.”
- The original was worn by Vicky and all royals born after her through Lady Louise (a total of 62 babies over 163 years), including five monarchs: King Edward VII (the second child of Victoria and Albert), King George V, King Edward VIII, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II.
- Bonus fun fact about the christening of Prince Louis: the holy water came from the River Jordan and was held in the Lily Font (a baptismal vessel commissioned by Victoria and Albert in 1840 for Vicky’s christening), which has been used at every royal christening since then.
While little Louis isn’t the first (and probably won’t be the last) royal baby to wear the replica of the Royal Christening Robe, he did manage to break this record on the day of his birth.