Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Prince John's ecumenical godparents

August 18, 1905

Prince John, the youngest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, will be "well cared for in the spiritual sense," reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.  His sponsors, who have "pledged themselves to look after his religious welfare," are members of the Church of Rome, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Lutheran and Presbyterian churches.

There is no truth to the reports that King Carol of Romania was asked to be one of the godfathers,.  It is the "fat and jolly" King Carlos of Portugal, who is the Roman Catholic godparent, and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Greece are members of the Orthodox Church.  Crown Princess Sophie was raised in the Lutheran faith, but converted after her marriage, "much to the disgust of her brother, the Kaiser."

The infant prince's christening took place at Sandringham, and in the case of royal christenings, the water "used for the purpose was that of the River Jordan."  A stock is always kept in bottles at Windsor, Potsdam and at the imperial palace in Vienna."

The little boy was named John Charles Francis. The last of the three names is in "memory of his maternal grandfather, the kindly and popular" Duke Franz of Teck.  Queen Mary's second brother is also named Francis.

John is in honor of Queen Alexandra's uncle, Prince John of Schleswig-Holstein-Glücksburg. a "great favorite with all of the English royal family," and Charles, of course, is for the King of Portugal.

The ceremony took place at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on August 3.

The complete list of godparents are: The King of Portugal, Prince Carl of Denmark, Prince Johann of Glücksburg, the Duke of Fife (represented by the Prince of Wales), Crown Prince of Greece, the Crown Princess of Greece, and  Princess Alexander of Teck (represented by Princess Victoria).

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