Following the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s royal baby, the first-time parents have been inundated with gifts from all around the world.
Perhaps the most unique is from a pub in Cambridge that William and Kate visited last year in the early stages of the Duchess’ pregnancy. The Greene King Pub the Fort St George of the small town have permanently reserved a seat for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s firstborn and marked it with a plaque.
“We want the family to know they are very welcome to come back any time, and there will always be a reserved space for the royal baby,” said pub manager John Cecchini. “As he gets older, we will make sure the seat under the plaque grows with him.”
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During her pregnancy, Kate also undertook adult volunteer training with the Scouts at Lake Windermere. In return for her help, the Duchess was given the practical and adventurous gift of a baby carrier backpack by the Scouts to celebrate the new royal arrival.
UK Chief Scout Bear Grylls sent his “massive congratulations” to the couple and added, “Enjoy this precious time as a family and much love from us all.”
An equally practical and slightly more lavish present was given by Sudocrem who appointed renowned jewellery designer Theo Fennell to create a bespoke jewel-encrusted, 18-carat white gold charm bracelet that doubles as a nappy rash holder.
The charm is modelled on the iconic Sudocrem pot with a closable lid, and once the baby’s name is known, will feature his initials on a disc charm that will sit alongside the miniature pot. “I understand it will be going to a very good home,” said Theo.
Venturing into gifts from Europe, an especially endearing gift came from an Italian grandmother in Piedmont. The elderly lady sent William and Kate a handwritten notebook prior to the royal baby’s birth entitled “Quaderno di Nonna Ciccia No. 184”, meaning Nanny Ciccia’s Notebook No. 184.
The book featured 30 aphorisms, quotations and thoughts on expecting a baby, and the joy of having and bringing up children. Clearly delighted at the carefully-crafted gift, the Duke and Duchess were quick to thank the sender with a letter from St. James’s Palace, dated 27 June 2013.
Prior to the royal baby’s birth, Finland‘s social security service also donated a maternity package to William and Kate. The parcel, held by a brightly coloured cardboard box that doubles as a cot, contained numerous baby items including a sleeping bag, bonnets and nappies. Expectant mothers in Finland have received such maternity packages since 1938.
A spokesperson for the royal couple at Kensington Palace confirmed their delight, saying, “It was a very thoughtful gesture and we are very grateful for it.”
The Israeli president Shimon Peres also had baby clothes on his mind when thinking about what to give the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The president gifted a unique outfit consisting of a hat, a pair of socks, a white shirt, a blue tie and trousers, with the message “From Israel with love” printed on the shirt.
Talking about the new royal, reform movement Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said, “The Royal family is held in great affection by the Jewish community in this country and the birth of a new prince gives us hope and optimism for the future.”
Further afield, Australia celebrated the birth of the little Prince by giving William and Kate a stuffed toy of a bilby, one of the country’s most unique and endangered animals. Taronga Park Zoo is also carrying out a campaign, Save The Bilby Fund, to which the Rudd Government will give a $10,000 grant.
Frank Manthey of Save The Bilby Fund said he hoped that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would one day bring the young royal to Australia to have a photo taken with one of the country’s most cherished animals.