If there’s one thing that 7-month-old Dexter Lloyd Henson loves, it’s attention. So when more than 100 guests gathered on Saturday, August 29th, at the the family’s farmhouse in Wales for a party to celebrate his Christening, Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson‘s little boy was in his element.
As with the Christening last year of Dexter’s big sister Ruby Megan, 2 on September 20th, the service itself was an intimate affair, attended only by immediate family and godparents — but come the evening all the stops were pulled out, with continious entertainment, a fully stocked bar, fireworks and food in a giant marquee in their garden.
Like his mother, sister and grandmother, Dexter’s baptism took place at St Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Cardiff. Father Christopher Delaney, who baptised Charlotte as a baby and who baptised Ruby last year, conducted the service.
“Everyone knows Father Delaney,” says Charlotte. “He has been around since my mum was at school. He’s brilliant because it’s all quite informal, and rather than just saying the words, he explains each part of the service as he goes along. He usually gives a little serman in the middle of it all, which is generally very charismatic and funny. He’s a real charecter — and reminds me of [Comedy actor] Gene Wilder.”
Charlotte’s best friend Naomi Holland, whom she has known since she was five, was chosen as Dexter’s godmother, and executive producer Nick Fiveash, who has known her since she was 14, was godfather.
“I was going to ask my friend Kyla to be godmother as well, but she just had a baby herself and I didn’t want to put too much responsibility on her. We’ve chosen people who are going to play a big part in Dexter’s life anyway and guide him on his spiritual path.”
When he arrived for the church service, little Dexter looked super cute in linen shorts and baby socks with crosses on them — from childrens wear company Little Darlings. Meanwhile, Ruby, who turned up clutching her favourite blue elephant, looked like a princess in a white satin dress, which was also from Little Darlings, and was dotted with diamante.
Just before the party kicked off, proud parents Charlotte and Gavin sat down with Hello! for a chat about the day so far, what was in store next and their future plans.
To read the interview and to see additional pictures click
On how well Ruby and Dexter get on together:
Gavin: They’re great together. They keep each other amused. Dexter loves watching what Ruby’s up to — I think he’ll come on quicker, having a big sister who is always on the go. And they love having lots of people around them.
Charlotte: As long as they’re occupied they’re fine. If I’m trying to get on with some cooking or cleaning, they might play up a bit to get my attention, but I think it’s good for them to occupy themselves sometimes and Ruby does actually play really well on her own.
Above: Charlotte lays out Ruby diamante dress ready for the christening
She also laid out the shoes ready
On what was in store for the rest of the evening:
C: Loads! We’ve got a magician called Dynamo, who’s amazing and goes around the tables doing close up magic. Then we’ve got a husband and wife band called The Druids performing. I’m actually writing some music with them at the moment, as I want to do another album. They’re awesome. My cousin Shannon will be singing Can You Feel The Love Tonight…
G: Will she? She usually does Puppy Love
C: Yes but she’s moved on. I’ve got so many awesome singers in my family it’s ridiculous and everyone gets up. I’ll be performing a song I wrote with The Druids. It’s called Two Hearts and I wrote it for Ruby and Dexter. That sounds so cheesy, doesn’t it — ‘I wrote it for my babies.’ But it’s a great song and although I didn’t write it especially for the christening, it fits the occasion.
On if Gavin would be singing:
C: Oh please, no. He’s a terrible singer.
G: [Laughs] Maybe at about three or four in the morning — if they’re lucky!
C: We’ll give him a tambourine instead. He’ll be happy with that.
On Ruby’s love for dancing:
C: Oh my God, you wait until you see her. She has been dancing since she could stand up. Recently, my cousin Nadine had her little girl christened and at the party a guy got up and sang some classical music. Ruby was up there on the dance floor, moving her hips around and swaying from side to side with her eyes closed, like she was in some cultish trance. It was hysterical!
G: Ruby’s going to love it though, having everyone here and with so much going on.
On what Ruby is like with her little brother:
C: She’s lovely with him and always wants to cwtch [Welsh for cuddle] him and kiss him. Sometimes we have to watch her because she gets carried away and sits on his head! But there’s only 15 months between them, so she’s only a baby herself really. It’s not meant nastily.
On if they sleep and eat well:
C: They’re both really good with their food — even Ruby, who’s such a little dot. But the sleeping’s not so good lately.
G: Dexter was a good sleeper, then he got ill with a stomach bug and it has disrupted his pattern.
C: They both had the bug for two weeks solid. Before, we were so lucky — they would go from eight at night till eight in the morning.
G: Now, no matter what we do we can’t get them back in to their routine. But Dexter’s crawling now and he has started pulling himself up. Hopefully, now he’s getting more active, he’ll start tiring himself out.
On the bad night’s sleep they had the night before:
C: Dexter was up every hour, then at 4:30am that was it — he was wide awake. Maybe he could sense something exciting was going on.
On wanting more children:
C: I love being pregnant, I really do, but it takes its toll on your body. I suffer badly with aching hips when I’m pregnant and last time, with Dexter, it was so painful.
G: We definately want more kids though, but we think we’ll wait a few years now till Ruby goes to school.
C: I don’t know if I could cope with having 3 little ones at home all day — I’d go crazy — and because we had these two so young, we can afford to wait for a while.
On if Charlotte’s celebrity status put her under preassure to get back in to shape after having Dexter:
C: You know what, I couldn’t care. When I got to the stage where I personally thought ‘Crikey, I’ve got to do something about this,’ I’ll eat less or eat healthier but I won’r be spurred on by what’s written in the media. I’ve always been pretty strong like that. Gav says it takes nine months to grow and bear a baby, so it’ll take nine months to get back to normal.
On if they’re glad they started their family young:
C: Definately. Even though it’s hard work, it’s the most rewarding work ever and because we were so young when we had Ruby, we’ve got so much more energy to take her and Dexter places and to play outside with them.
G: We’re lucky because we get a lot of support from our parents, who are still young, too, and have the energy to run around after the kids. For us it was the right way to go — we can’t speak for anyone else.
C: And we’re aware it’s only so nice and easy because we’re in such a privileged position. We don’t have to worry about buying nappies and food and have such a fantastic support network. So for us, it was definately the right thing. We couldn’t be happier.
On how Charlotte plans to juggle work and parenthood:
C: The children will always come with me and maybe Gav will come, or my mum and dad or his mum and dad. When Ruby starts school, I want to be the one who picks her up and makes her tea, so I figure I’ve got a three year window now where I can do as much as I possibly can.
On Gavin loving family life:
G: Before, I felt like a part time father and full time rugby player, so I’m enjoying the switch [Gavin is currently injured and can’t play rugby due to achillies problems]. I don’t want to miss out on any of this time with the children because I love it.
C: He’s brilliant with the kids — really natural. It has come quite easy to both of us, even though neither of us had been around kids much before.
On their wedding plans:
G: Hopefully we’ll get married at some point, but it’s not a priority or something we’re planning at the moment.
C: I think we need to save one big party till we’re in our thirties. We’ve got our beautiful babies, our dream house, our careers. I’m only 23, so it’ll be nice to keep something to look forward to.
Source: Hello! Magazine Issue: 1088 Date: 7th September 2009. Photos by Ian Jones.