SEE VIDEO: Cheers of joy as thousands celebrate Sandringham christening of Princess Charlotte

The christening of Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has taken place at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, on the Sandringham estate.

Thousands of wellwishers gathered to catch a glimpse of the family both before and after the service on Sunday afternoon.

Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham ANL-150507-192541009

Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham ANL-150507-192541009

Many had queued for several hours in a mixture of sunshine and showers, while some had been there since Saturday in order to get the best possible spot.

Amid loud cheers, Prince George walked to the church alongside his father, while his mother pushed the pram carrying the young princess.

Among the crowds, Rebecca McKenzie, from Derbyshire, said after the service: “They just look perfect, all four of them.”

Earlier, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, had been among the royal guests arriving by car. The Queen and the Duke also left by car, while the other guests walked back to the house.

Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham ANL-150507-192511009

Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham ANL-150507-192511009

The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Very Revd Justin Welby, supported by the rector of the Sandringham group of parishes, the Rev Canon Jonathan Riviere.

The archbishop said: “It seems that different forms of ambition are hard-wired into almost all of us.

“At a baptism our ambitions are rightly turned into hopes and prayers for the child, today for Princess Charlotte. Everyone wants something for their children. At our best we seek beauty, not necessarily of form, but of life.

“Beauty is the implied prayer of the baptism service, beauty of life which brings true and eternal greatness.

Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham'Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham'Crowds waiting ANL-150507-192954009

Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham'Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham'Crowds waiting ANL-150507-192954009

“In such times as ours, those who suffer - such as the wounded or bereaved in Tunisia and other places - need lives of beauty around them; lives that share healing and hope, offering to all around them, both in times of light and darkness, a vision of a Christ-filled future.”

The service was the first royal christening to take place at Sandringham for almost 25 years, since that of Princess Eugenie, the second daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, in December 1990.

And flowers given by wellwishers will be donated to the East Anglian Children’s Hospices, of which the Duchess of Cambridge is a patron.

Spokesman Laura Beveridge said the blooms would be shared around the charity’s three hospice sites, adding: “We’re thrilled to have been invited and to enjoy the occasion.”

Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham ANL-150507-192807009

Christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandrigham ANL-150507-192807009

Ahead of the service, wellwishers from home and abroad had waited to secure a position outside the church.

Laurie Spencer, who is currently on holiday from her home in Florida, chose to come to Sandringham instead of the British Grand Prix.

She offered her ticket to a diner in a restaurant who overheard her trying to persuade her husband James to go to the christening instead of the race.

She said: “I gave away my ticket because I didn’t want to miss the christening. I’m so excited to be here.”

From closer to home, Linda Kitto, of Harpley, said she had been excited by the event from the moment it was announced.

She said: “The Royals are special people and Kate and William are lovely.”

Margaret Banks, of South Wootton, said having the christening at Sandringham was “wonderful, absolutely superb.”

A regular visitor to the estate, she added: “It’s so nice to be able to come to Her Majesty’s estate and enjoy it.”

But, the celebrations were a welcome surprise to Sam Harrington, who was visiting the estate with her grandchildren Bradley and Kayleigh Walters, aged 13 and 12.

She said: “We didn’t even know the christening was taking place here. We came here a couple of weeks ago with one grandchild and we decided to bring the others today. We can’t believe it.”