Kiwis buzzing with ideas for royal baby gift

MICHELLE ROBINSON
Last updated 05:00 23/06/2013
Prince William Kate Middleton
Reuters
PARENTS IN WAITING: Prince William (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

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This baby will want for nothing. But that isn't stopping Kiwis offering great gift ideas for the newest heir to the throne.

While the prime minister's office says it's too early to say what the official gift to William and Kate's baby will be, Kiwis are brimming with suggestions.

TV presenter and mother-of-three Petra Bagust reckons a library of books from celebrated Kiwi authors Lynley Dodd, Margaret Mahy and Paula Green would be a great present.

Scented and healing natural oils such as manuka would be another great Kiwi gift to calm a frazzled new mum, she said.

"Often mums just need a reminder to take it easy on themselves and their kids, to slow down and enjoy the moment."

When Prince William was born in 1982, he was given a fine lace shawl, designed, spun and knitted by Margaret Stove, as the official New Zealand gift. It featured a unique New Zealand pattern and was known as the "Bush Bouquet Shawl".

He is also indelibly linked in our memories with a Buzzy Bee toy he dragged across a rug on the lawn of Government House while on tour here with Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1983.

The Buzzy Bee Online Shop is considering sending one of the pull-along toys to the new bub, who will be third in line to the throne.

Monarchy New Zealand chairman Sean Palmer agrees a Buzzy Bee is a natural gift.

"It's an opportunity for us to showcase local art, culture and identity, and an example of that is the Buzzy Bee.

It received an enormous amount of world attention when Prince William was photographed with it."

Actor and funnyman Oscar Kightley reckons our gift should be a sheepskin rug for the baby to roll around in.

"It will make fond memories of sheep and where they come from, which will be good for us in the future."

Christchurch soprano Hayley Westenra has already provided her gift. Her latest album Hushabye features a tune penned for the royal child. Sleep On was composed by Paul Mealor, who was also behind some of the music at the royal couple's wedding.

Westenra is also offering a free copy of the album to any mums who give birth on the same day as Kate.

It's not the first time gifts have been received by those who give birth at the same time as a royal.

The Queen arranged for every family in the UK with a child born the same day as Prince Charles in 1948 to receive a hamper - during post-war rationing, that was seen as an extraordinarily generous gesture.

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With the birth of the royal baby getting closer, expect a trend for all things British to become popular in children's stores.

Kiwi kid's clothing chain Pumpkin Patch has announced a line of "Chic Brit", Union Jack-inspired red, white and blue outfits.

- Sunday Star Times

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