Princess Eugenie and Zara Tindall’s sons were christened in a rare joint ceremony attended by their great-grandmother the Queen – and there were poignant tributes to both her and Prince Philip as well as a spooky coincidence
No great-grandmother wants to miss the joint christening of two of the newest additions to her family.
And it had been unclear whether the Queen would be able to attend the christening of Princess Eugenie and Zara Tindall’s sons at the weekend.
The 95-year-old had recently suffered from a painful back sprain, forcing her to pull out of the Remembrance Sunday service at the cenotaph in London.
It might have also been an emotional time for the monarch as she marked her first wedding anniversary as a widow.
However, she arrived in style to the private Grade-II listed church wearing a lime green number on Sunday.
The private ceremony was led by Canon Martin Poll, who is chaplain to All Saints Chapel in Great Windsor Park, Berkshire.
Eugenie attended with her husband Jack Brooksbank, while Zara arrived with her husband Mike Tindall and their daughters Mia, seven, and Lena, three.
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The boys’ rare double christening had several hidden touching details which were a nod to the tot’s extended family, and perhaps some other spooky coincidences.
Both Eugenie’s son August and Zara’s son Lucas were given the middle name Philip in honour of their great-grandfather, who died aged 99 in April.
Nine-month-old August’s full name is August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, and eight-month-old Lucas’s moniker is Lucas Philip Tindall.
And there may have been significance in the date the ceremony was held, too.
The christening happened just one day after what would have been the Queen and her late husband Prince Philip ’s 74th wedding anniversary.
She and Philip tied the knot on 20 November 1947 in Westminster Abbey, and were married for an incredible 73 years.
Not only that – the christening place exactly 181 years after the birth of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s eldest child, Victoria, Princess Royal, who was born on 21 November 1840.
Victoria wore an original Spitalfields silk and Honiton lace christening gown during her ceremony in February 1841, and the garment was passed down and worn by a whopping 62 more royal babies, including the Queen.
But following the baptism of the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s daughter Lady Louise Windsor in April 2004, the gown was deemed too delicate to be used again, and so the Queen commissioned an exact replica to replace the original robe.
The replica was worn by Prince William and Kate Middleton’s three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, as well as Archie, the eldest child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
It’s not yet clear if Princess Eugenie and Zara’s sons wore the replica, too.
Middle names are often used by royals to pay homage to other family members.
Zara and Mike Tindall named their second child Lena Elizabeth Tindall, while Zara’s older brother Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn, who divorced earlier this year, named their youngest daughter Isla Elizabeth Phillips in 2012.
Princess Charlotte’s full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, while Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet is named after the Queen’s childhood nickname.
Meanwhile, Princess Anne’s full name is Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, while her daughter is Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall.
Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York’s eldest daughter is Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary, and Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex’s daughter has the lengthy moniker Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor.
Last week, the grieving Queen said how “none of us can slow the passage of time” in a poignant message to the General Synod given by Prince Edward in her absence due to illness.
The monarch reminisced about her late husband, remarking how it had been half a century since they together attended the very first meeting of the General Synod.
Queen Elizabeth first met Prince Philip when she was just 13 years old after he had been asked to entertain the young princesses in Devon, with the couple getting married eight years after that initial meeting in the South West.
It is said the Queen “never looked at anyone else” after they met and, once Philip proposed, his destiny as royal consort was sealed.
It has been reported that The Queen and Prince Philip spent their last weeks together ‘reminiscing like mad’, sifting through family photos and old cine camera film.
Currently, the Queen continues her doctor-ordered rest at Windsor Castle and courtiers are understood to be taking a “cautious approach” with the sovereign’s diary moving forward, with no public engagements expected for the rest of the year.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.