Vintage top gear makes Austin’s big day extra special

Austin Sykes, aged 6 weeks, in the family Christening gown dated 1865
Austin Sykes, aged 6 weeks, in the family Christening gown dated 1865
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Prince George captured the nation’s hearts when he wore his vintage christening gown earlier this year.

And now a Leeds family are looking to give the Royals a run for their money with their own special family heirloom.

Pauline Sykes’s great-grandson Austin is dressed to impress with a handmade gown that pre-dates two world wars and four monarchs.

Great-grandmother Pauline, 78, said the gown, which was made in 1865, has been used by at least four generations of her late husband John’s family.

John was christened in the antique gown in 1934, it was then used for his son Nigel’s christening in 1958 and then his son John’s in 1987.

Now John, 26, and his partner Charlotte Simpson, 24, are looking forward to seeing newborn Austin wear the gown at the weekend.

John said: “It is a family tradition. It is just nice to know that other generations have gone before us.

“My grandad wore it, my dad wore it and I wore it as well.”

And mystery surrounds just how many other babies could have worn the gown before it was given to the Sykes family.

Pauline added: “How many generations have worn it before our four I just don’t know.

“There aren’t many people who can say they have something this special in the family.

“They were making such a performance about Prince George. I don’t think it is a pinch on that.

“It is just really interesting to think who must have worn it before.

“There is a tiny iron mark on it but we can hide that.

“It would be nice if another generation could wear it too.”