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Prince George About to be Christened; Low Gas Prices

Aired October 23, 2013 - 09:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: A royal event. Kate, William and little George, a private affair, only 22 guests invited, all eyes on St. James Palace, getting ready for a royal christening.

Plus, gas prices at their lowest since January. Why they're falling and what you can expect to pay through the end of the year.

And warning for Fido. An elusive and mysterious outbreak if you give your dog jerky treats. We have a warning for you. NEWSROOM continues now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.

It is a big day in Britain for a three-month-old baby boy. Prince George, the third in line to the throne, will be christened in just a few minutes. So let's bring in our royal expert, Kate Williams. She joins us live from Buckingham Palace.

Good morning, Kate.


COSTELLO: So I like how they're describing it as a private affair with 22 people invited.

WILLIAMS: That's it. You know, we normally see christening as pretty big affairs. Prince William's was in Buckingham Palace, 60 guests and this huge banquet afterwards. But for Prince George, it's a really private affair. Twenty-three people. You've got seven godparents, there's the queen, there's Prince Philip, there's Charles and Camilla. So there's not that many spaces for other royals on top of that. So it's a really little ceremony. A private family intimate ceremony and that's what Kate and William want.

COSTELLO: I see all of the people outside of St. James Palace. What could they see? Will the car drive by? Will the couple get out with the royal baby?

WILLIAMS: Oh, there are crowds everywhere, all the well-wishers. Well, we've seen Kate and William go past behind us in Buckingham Palace. Haven't seen the queen yet. Actually, we don't know what we're going to see. Probably we'll see a quick shot of them going in, but we're very unlikely to see George. So, really, we're all going to have to wait until the pictures come out and that's tomorrow evening. And there were no cameras allowed during the ceremony today, so it really is very private, very secret. We're just going to have to wait until tomorrow evening.

COSTELLO: Well, you know what everyone's really going to be noticing is what Prince George will be wearing, as in his christening gown. I know that sounds so silly, but you know that that will be pointed out and many, many people will buy whatever he's wearing.

WILLIAMS: What he's going to be wearing, that's the touch of history. He's going to be wearing a replica of the same christening gown that every royal baby has worn since 1841. And that was Queen Victoria's daughter, her first child, and it was worn by every baby, including William, including Charles. But in 2004, the queen thought it was looking a little bit fragile, so she had a replica made. So that's what George will be wearing. It's very fussy, it's very frilly. Lots of babies don't really like it. But that is where we're really going to see the history because otherwise it's much more of a modern ceremony. Actually much more like Kate's christening than Williams.

COSTELLO: OK, who's going to be the godfather and the godmother?

WILLIAMS: Yes, you've got the seven godparents that have been announced this morning, and that's a bit of a surprise to us royal watchers. We were expecting six. Seven is even more. And we were expecting perhaps a few royals in there, but there's only one royal, and that's Zara, Princess Anne's daughter. And she actually isn't a princess because she is herself the daughter of a princess. They don't get titles. So she's the only royal on the list is actually not a princess. The rest of them are friends from school, friends from university, a friend of Princess Diana's. So what William and Kate are saying is, they want their friends to look after Prince George to give him spiritual guidance, not necessarily the royals. So an interesting choice.

COSTELLO: Interesting. OK, we're going to cut away from you, Kate, but you stay right there and when the prince and princess come out with -- or pop out of the car with their little baby, we'll go back to Britain. Thank you so much, Kate.

COSTELLO: All right, let's talk about gas prices in the United States. When was the last time you filled up your tank? Oh, just this morning? Well then you've noticed gas prices are going down. According to the AAA, the price for a regular gallon of gas is just under $3.35. That would be the lowest level since January. And guess what, prices may keep falling. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us why.

Good morning.


Finally some good news where gas prices are concerned. You know what, Carol, one estimate is putting gas prices around $3.10 a gallon, $3.20-ish by Christmas. That's 15 to 25 cents lower than where we are now. And where are we right now? Gas prices are actually at a nine- month low after a jump at the beginning of the year. We are seeing gas prices really, really falling, especially since July. That's actually when oil prices began falling. They were at $100 a barrel in July, but then prices have been falling since then. And as you know, gas prices and oil prices, they tend to move in lock step.

You know, oil prices are falling because the government says we have plenty of supplies on hand. Also we're seeing that demand is dropping. And part of that is because people are driving less in the winter, but also because of the weak economy. So it's not just here in the U.S., but it's also around the world. So the weak economy part makes it kind of a double-edged sword. But I'll tell you what, it's nice to have to do a double take at the gas station and say, wow, those prices are down, Carol.

COSTELLO: I know, it's so refreshing, let me tell you.

KOSIK: It's so refreshing.


The opening bell just rang. What can we expect today?

KOSIK: It looks like the bulls are taking a breather. The Dow is down about 50 points. It's following a drop overseas. You know, not such a huge surprise to see a decline in stocks after four days of records, especially when you look at the S&P 500. But, you know, a little bit of it is reality. Reality may be setting in. The jobs report, quite frankly, was weak. Sure. It means the Fed's going to go ahead and prop up the economy.

But here's the problem with that. It shows that the economy isn't recovering as quickly as we'd like. Also some companies are coming out and saying they're still feeling it, too. In fact, Caterpillar today said it's not going to make as much money as it initially expected this year. But it also is saying that economic growth could be under pressure next year. We are seeing Caterpillar shares down almost 6 percent, so you're seeing this trickle-down of this slowing economy going right into company's pocket books.

COSTELLO: All right, Alison Kosik reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange.

I'm going to take you out to near Boston for just one more time. These are aerial photos of Danvers High School. That's in the Boston suburb of Danvers. The strange -- the officials closed every single school in this district today because a teacher was found dead. A 14-year-old student has been arrested. He's being investigated for a possible homicide? The Essex County district attorney just held a news conference. We're going through that right now so we can ferret out more information for you. We'll have more on that after a break. We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: We take you back to Britain for just a second because we've got some pretty pictures in to show you. You can see the -- maybe this is the changing of the guard. I don't know what they technically call this before a christening - a baby's christening in Britain. But this is taking place at St. James Palace. Inside, little baby George is about to be christened. About 23 guests will be present and seven godparents have been named as well. We're expecting Kate and Prince William -- you can see the priest there waiting for the ceremony to begin. Actually, they're awaiting the arrival of Prince George with his parents. And, of course, when they all arrive, we will go back to Britain live.

Oh, we have Kate Williams now.

Kate Williams, hi. What are they doing in front of St. James Palace now?

WILLIAMS: What's happening at the moment is the Middletons have just arrived. So Kate's parents have just arrived. Michael and Carole Middleton have arrived. And Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, is outside St. James Palace and he's waiting there for Kate, William and baby George to come.

Now, we've seen them going from Buckingham Palace behind me on the way. So the royal party has left. So they're on their way. So we should expect to see them going in, in just a few minutes' time.

And Kate, we've heard, is wearing cream. Nothing else so far. We know what Prince George is wearing, that historic christening robe that every baby has worn since 1841. He's wearing a replica. Can't wait to see him.

COSTELLO: I can't either. OK. We're going to break away and when they arrive, of course, we'll go back to you, Kate. Thanks so much.

We'll take a break. We'll be back with much more in the NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO: We are keeping a close eye on two stories this is morning. Danvers School closed outside of Boston while police there investigate the murder of a teacher.

And in London at any moment the royal christening of little Prince George. Let's head to Britain now because we're expecting -- Kate and William to arrive at any moment with their baby. You can see the archbishop of Canterbury out there ready to perform the christening ceremony.

Kate Williams our royal watcher is also standing by. I'm starting to see guests arrive and they have on fancy hats, so I'm assuming they are the invited guests of the couple.

WILLIAMS: Really exciting. It's really (inaudible) up now that day we've been waiting really ever since Prince George was born in July. What's happening now is the guests are going in, we've already seen the Middleton parents, Kate's parents and Michael and Carol have gone in but also the other guests. Now we know there are 23 invited guests to the christening, that's not that many when you've also got the Queen and Prince Philip and Charles and Camilla and Prince Harry. Those guests are in there. They're seated. Because what is most important is that the Queen arrives last. So William and Kate we've seen them go behind us. The Queen has not yet left Buckingham Palace but she's on her way. When she goes that's the signal, when she arrives then finally the christening can start. And really that's the really exciting moment when little Prince George is going to be ushered into his future as a future king and also supreme head of the Church of England.

COSTELLO: So Kate and William are already there?

WILLIAMS: Kate and William are there. They haven't gotten out of the car. We haven't seen them go through. But they have arrived actually at the palace so they are at St. James' palace. They are there but we haven't actually seen them get out and walk across with Prince George. And that's the only moment we're going to get to see them because as we know there are no cameras inside the ceremony. So we're not going to have cameras inside the ceremony so we're just going to have to wait and see and find out what happens when the pictures do come out later.

COSTELLO: Yes I was just afraid we'd miss them. That's the moment I want to see. I know that's silly but I do, I want to see them with their baby.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Because they've been -- these are Kate's parents but this is tape, right, because they've already arrived or are they going into the church? These are live pictures, Kate?

WILLIAMS: Yes, really thrilling. I mean we can't wait to see the real moment when Prince George is christened using water from the River Jordan and using a font made for Queen Victoria. So the ceremony packed with absolute royal history for the future king.

COSTELLO: So what role will the Queen play in all of this? She'll just be -- you mean she arrives last. That's ceremonial, right? But she'll just be an observer when she's in the room, right?

WILLIAMS: She'll be the number one guest. The most important guest and none of it can happen until she gets there but exactly, as you say Carol, she'll just be a guest. She'll be watching, she'll be sitting at the front. She is, of course, the great grandmother of the little baby. But she doesn't have an active role -- she isn't godmother, she isn't anything.

Of course it will all be about William, Kate and Prince George and also the archbishop of Canterbury. So probably it's going to be a really thrilling day for the Queen. In fact just the first day in which she's had three heirs to the throne with her since the time of Queen Victoria -- so a pretty exciting day for her too.

COSTELLO: You know it seems that Kate and William are doing everything right. They are just endearing themselves ever more to the people of Britain.

WILLIAMS: Really they're popularity couldn't get any higher. There are so many well-wishers there, you know. Down at Buckingham Palace, down at Kensington Palace, down at St. James Palace -- you can hardly move with the crowds of people with doves in unions jacks and babies dressed up like Kate and William. Their popularity is really high. And I think it's because they seem so normal and so down to earth. They don't want the royal pomp. They don't want the great big extravaganza. They're trying to give Prince George a normal life, as normal a life as can be possible. And we really like the way that they've chosen their friends as the godparents because that seems really touching the recognition of how important friendship is in life.

COSTELLO: Yes and Prince Harry is one of the godparents, too right?

WILLIAMS: Prince Harry is not one of the godparents. That's quite a surprise to us. At least a godparent --


COSTELLO: Wait a minute. Why wouldn't he be chosen as a godparent?

WILLIAMS: She is Prince (inaudible) daughter. Well you know I think it's because he already has such a big role in Prince George's life. Of course if Prince George comes to the throne as a child Prince Harry would be in charge with Kate as regent.

So I think the fact is Prince Harry is always going to be there, he's going to be the naughty, naughty favorite uncle. So they almost don't need to make him godparent. Because he and Prince George are going to be thick as thieves, really close friends. He can -- Prince Harry is made to be the naughty uncle. You know sliding down the banisters of Buckingham Palace, running around and playing jokes from the Queen. You can see it.

COSTELLO: I can, actually. It's one of the reasons I really like Prince Harry. Has he arrived yet, by the way?

WILLIAMS: Prince Harry should be already in the ceremony. We haven't seen him go in an official sense but that's because he's just a guest only. So he should be on his way and we're waiting for the big guest, that's the Queen and Prince Philip and then the ceremony can start.

There's been a small gathering before the christening a little gathering but after the christening there's going to be a big party. And that's where we're going to engage in one of our strangest British traditions. And that is do you remember that fantastic wedding cake that William and Kate had all those tiers, all those eight tiers of sugar and confectionery and flowers on the top of that a top tier, that's what they're going to have as a christening cake.

So basically in Britain, we take the cakes and the wedding and wait two years 18 months and then eat it. So a bit odd that is the real tradition in here. And the royals like tradition.

COSTELLO: I'm sure.

(CROSSTALK) COSTELLO: No if they're froze it should be fine right.

I'm hoping for the best. Kate standby we're going to take another break.

WILLIAMS: Let's hope so, let's hope so.

COSTELLO: We'll back with more right after this.


WILLIAMS: Well, I wish I was obviously invited. It's going to be a fantastic occasion. 23 guests in there watching little Prince George be christened. And they just look so happy, so thrilled -- William and Kate I mean. Outside the hospital when we saw them in July, they couldn't have looked more delighted. Kate said what an emotional experience it was.

And again, it's going to be a really emotional experience for them today. The christening of their child, this long-awaited child, the future king of the United Kingdom and certainly the Queen looked absolutely thrilled. She really did look happy. You often see the Queen looking a bit serious. She couldn't have looked more excited. There he is -- her little great grandson, the future king and she's there to see it. So what a happy day for all of them.

COSTELLO: She is looking pretty chipper and you could see that the Queen and her husband were the last to enter the chapel in St. James Palace as tradition requires.

WILLIAMS: Yes. The Queen and Prince Philip are number one guests here, the most important guests. They're really the ones it's all about.

The actual time of the christening was changed because the queen had a reception here at Buckingham Palace and she comes first. If she can't come it simply can't happen. They were the first. They were the first to enter. The queen wearing a rather beautiful blue outfit with matching blue hat -- one of her favorite colors and of course, blue is for boys so I really think it's going to be such a joyous occasion -- far more joyous than other ones.

COSTELLO: All right. Thank you so much Kate for providing some happiness for us today because we all need a bit of that.

CNN NEWSROOM will continue -- actually our next hour will begin right after this.