Dressed to impress a prince

KEVIN NORQUAY AND KATIE KENNY
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014
Eden Alve, and fellow Plunket babies who will meet Prince George
KENT BLECHYNDEN/ Fairfax NZ

BRIGHT EYES: Eden Alve, second left, will be among a handful of Plunket babies to meet Prince George.

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When dressmaker Alana Garland agreed to be godmother to Eden Alve, she had no idea it would lead to a royal commission.

Eden is one of 10 Plunket babies chosen to join the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and 8-month-old Prince George for a parent support meeting at Government House this afternoon.

The event is a coveted opportunity for the first-time parents to meet the royal couple and their son.

Eden’s parents, Ingrid and David Alve, from Grenada Village in Wellington, did not hesitate to accept the offer.

‘‘It was definitely a bit surreal, we just thought, ‘oh, how lucky for her to be able to do this’. She’ll always remember it,’’ Ingrid Alve said.

The call came as Eden was having breakfast. Her mother answered the phone.

Ingrid Alve ran to the bedroom to tell her husband, who said it ‘‘felt like a prank’’.

‘‘Just because it came out of the blue, it felt like this sort of thing just doesn’t happen,’’ he said.

Ingrid Alve is on maternity leave for her teaching job at Waterloo Primary School, and David Alves has worked on The Hobbit films.

‘‘We’re not necessarily royal fans, but we do like having the royals being part of New Zealand, we definitely like the culture,’’ he said.

They said the royals need not worry about comparing milestones during the meeting.

‘‘Not at all, I think that when you go to Plunket group and baby groups you realise all babies grow up and they do things at different times,’’ David Alves said.

Garland, a dressmaker just starting her own label (Alana Garland), offered to make a dress for Eden after she heard the exciting news.

Garland said the dress was one of her more elaborate projects, and was ‘‘a pleasure’’ to make.

‘‘It’s the most beautiful dress I think I’ve ever made. I made it and I was just in love with it,’’ she said.

While the dress would not be revealed until the event, Garland revealed it was blue and ‘‘a bit different’’.

‘‘I wanted to have a simple design that would show off the fabric but also have a handcrafted look. Something a bit special.

‘‘I wanted to choose a colour that would enhance Eden’s blue eyes. She’s just such a beautiful little girl.’’

Plunket Wellington area manager Tina Syme said all the participating youngsters were about the same age as Prince George, who was born on July 22 last year.

There were four baby boys and six baby girls in the group, plus the prince, she said.

The families were all a part of a wide range of Plunket services, and represented a mix of ethnicities.

Once a shortlist was created, Symes said the first 10 people who answered their phones when she called were offered a spot.

Already there has been talk among parents about whether today will spark a future romance for Prince George.

Regardless, he will take away from the event a Plunket book, a Plunket blue bear, and, hopefully, ten new Kiwi friendships.

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- Fairfax Media

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