Those cheeks! That smile! The newly christened heir delights his royal relatives – and fans around the world – as Prince William and Kate find their parenting feet. In a special collector’s issue, this week’s PEOPLE features a nine-page album of the royal christening of three-month-old Prince George into the Church of England. “He was such a good boy,” Kate said the next evening at a charity gala she attended at Kensington Palace sponsored by 100 Women in Hedge Funds, while a “fast asleep” George remained in his dad’s care for a few hours. “We’re very lucky,” she added. “He’s not always like that!”
Making his first public appearance since William and Kate, both 31, carried him out of St. Mary’s Hospital on July 23, George gurgled happily for a series of historic christening day portraits – even striking a sweet smile while gazing at his adoring mom. If the newest heir to the throne isn’t always quite so easygoing – his grandma Carole Middleton “did say that he has a nice pair of bellow on him; a good set of lungs!” Middleton family friend Martin Fidler tells PEOPLE – he has no trouble charming the millions of fans around the world, who delighted in everything from his hand-sewn lace christening gown to his family’s obvious joy. Attending the Oct. 24 gala, Kate “said he is a wonderful baby, and they are having a lot of fun with him,” says Mimi Drake of 100 Women in Hedge Funds. “She was as excited about Prince George as any new mum would be.”
With the young family’s first major milestone behind them, William and Kate can focus on finding their way as new parents and enjoying their son’s emerging personality. Having survived the “fourth trimester” – lots of crying, little sleep – they are now entering the happy baby stage as they settle into their new home in Kensington Palace. Since moving into the 20-plus room “apartment 1A” in early October, Kate has continued to rely on help from both nanny Jessie Webb and housekeeper Antonella Fresolone. The recently renovated upstairs nursery “will be the centerpiece of life,” says former royal bodyguard Ken Wharfe, who served Princess Diana when William and Harry were young boys. “For [much of] the next year, George will be quietly upstairs.”
As for life with a newborn in Kensington Palace, just because the future king might be napping doesn’t mean the rest of the household is in whisper mode. “The nursery is out of the way, so William and Kate can have a dinner party or have the Queen for dinner downstairs, and nobody would hear a thing,” says former royal chef Darren McGrady. “There’s no tiptoeing.” He adds, “I held Harry as a baby at Balmoral, and I remember [having a newborn there] didn’t stop them from shooting every Thursday or Friday, guns going off. It’s the royal family – you carry on.”
While both new parents are determined to be as hands-on as possible, they are also constrained by the requirements of duty. “They can’t be stay-at-home parents,” says Ingrid Seward, author of Majesty magazine’s book A Century of Royal Children. “They have to be out doing things. Kate can’t lug her baby everywhere with her. So it is restricted, however normal they want George’s life to be.” A family friend who recently met mother and baby says Kate was “very relaxed” and “glowing.” The little heir, meanwhile, “was wrapped in a blanket, just taking it all in. He is just like any little baby, and she is a happy mum.” Beyond good genes and her natural athleticism, Kate reportedly has been doing yoga to keep her post-baby body looking amazing. Maternity nurse Sarah Dixon says, “She didn’t let things go during her pregnancy.”
A Princess for George: A throne can be a lonely place without the right Mrs. by your side. No time like the present to start considering candidate. Among them, PEOPLE features the Kimye Girl, the Fashionista, the Family Friend, the Commoner, the Royal, and the One on the Way?
More details on Prince George’s baptism is in the 11/11/13 issue of PEOPLE; on newsstands now.
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