Christening service

The christening service was traditionally the first time a royal child was shown to the public.

©ANP
The christening of Princess Catharina-Amalia, 12 June 2004.

The christening took place ‘in the presence of the congregation’, in other words usually during a church service, and only very seldom in the palace chapel.

Until 1880, when Princess Wilhelmina was baptised, the mother of the royal child was not present at the service. Princess Juliana and Princess Beatrix were driven to the church in the Golden Coach. Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Catharina-Amalia arrived by car.

A special christening robe was designed for Princess Wilhelmina, which was later also worn by Princess Juliana, Princess Beatrix, Princess Christina, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Catharina-Amalia.

For other members of the Royal House, christenings have become more of a private occasion in the present century. They are often conducted in private and on a moderate scale. Many services of this kind have taken place in Het Loo Palace Chapel. The sacrament of baptism is often administered by the minister who officiated at the parents’ wedding.