What do you get for the baby that has (just about ) everything? How about a woolly toy, a brand new dress and a little blanket? When it comes to official presents for the new princess, countries around the world are sticking to the tried and tested.
Since the arrival of the daughter of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Saturday, governments across the globe have been sending gifts to the family. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, was quick off the mark with official presents. Princess Charlotte will receive woolen baby items made by Stansborough, the company known for making some of the costumes for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. The official gifts made by the firm for Charlotte include blankets, a hat and a teddy all made from the wool of Stansborough Grey sheep.
There’s a blanket on the way from Australia as well after the country’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced the official gifts being sent from Canberra. Charlotte will have a merino wool blanket, made by Waverley Woollen Mills. It will be embroidered with wattle, Australia’s floral emblem, and the needlework will be done by members of the ACT Embroiderers Guild.
The President of Israel and his wife have also chosen a traditional gift for the princess – after all, which new set of parents doesn’t receive baby clothes after they’ve announced the safe arrival of their latest bundle of joy? In this case, it’s a very special dress made in palest pink cloth and bearing the words ‘With Love from Israel’ on its top. President Reuven Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, also sent the baby royal a brooch with a Hamsa symbol that denotes blessing.
But amongst these very traditional items is something slightly more unusual. For Australia will also be donating money to an animal sanctuary to mark Charlotte’s birth. The Healesville Sanctuary will receive 10,000 Australian dollars to support its mountain pygmy-possum breeding programme. When her big brother, George, was born in 2013 the Australian government gave money to help research to protect the bilby and an enclosure for the animals at Sydney Zoo was named after the prince. When he visited Australia in 2014 with his parents, the family made a famous trip to see it.
So perhaps in years to come we will see Charlotte visiting a project all about pygmy-possums. Until then her mum and dad will probably be sticking to wrapping her up in the blankets she’s been sent and hoping she’ll fit into her new dress by summer. This little royal baby has a lot of traditional gifts coming her way.
Photo credit: Stephen Harper via Flickr