Christening of Zara Phillips, 1981

The Christening of Zara Phillips, the only daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips and the first granddaughter of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle on this day in 1981, just two days before the Wedding of Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.

Zara’s godparents are Prince Andrew, Duke of York; the Countess of Lichfield; Helen, Lady Stewart; Colonel Andrew Parker Bowles; and Hugh Thomas who were all present alongside the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother, and Major and Mrs Phillips. The Official Photographs were taken by Lord Lichfield.

That evening, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh hosted a Ball for the upcoming Wedding of Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer at Buckingham Palace, which was a private event with no pictures released from inside, but the Queen Mother (wearing the Greville Tiara and Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Necklace) as well as Princess Alexandra and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were seen arriving (h/t to the wonderful World of Monarchy). Raine, Countess Spencer (wearing the Spencer Honeysuckle Tiara) was also pictured.  Princess Cécile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, a great-niece of the Duke of Edinburgh, talked about the Ball:

There were these family events or bigger balls or things that my parents or my aunt or grandmother attended. As a little girl of course there was just this thing when all the preparation started and all the dresses came out. They would all discuss which dresses they were going to wear, then who was going to wear which tiara and which jewels would go with what. When I was smaller and we were in London for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, we were able to be there and watch from Buckingham Palace. I was still too young to go to any of the balls or anything, but it was special watching my mother getting dressed up and putting these things on. [It was special], just sitting there and staring at these things and getting to see them and grow up with them – not just in the trays but actually still worn which I think is rarer and rarer these days.”

The Wedding of Prince of Wales and Lady Diana SpencerRoyal Guests | Gala at Claridge’s Hotel | Film

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