Long to reign over their parents

STAFF REPORTERS
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2013
William Irvin
WILMA McCORKINDALE/Fairfax NZ

ARISTOCRATIC TIMING: 'Royal' baby William Irvin, born in Alexandra on July 22, with his parents Rachel and Timothy and brother Theo.

Kingi Matthews
CHE BAKER/Fairfax NZ
BABY KING: Cromwell woman Erana Smith, 23, with baby Kingi Matthews, which means King in Maori, who was born on July 22, the same day as the royal baby.
Ashleigh Watt
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
LITTLE PRINCESS: New Invercargill parents Kelly and Micheal Watt with daughter Ashleigh, who shares a birthday with the Prince of Cambridge.

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In 2011, Invercargill couple Micheal and Kelly Watt danced in London's Hyde Park to celebrate Prince William and Kate's wedding - now they are celebrating the birth of their first baby on the same date the royal couple became first-time parents.

Mr and Mrs Watt's baby girl, Ashleigh, was born at Southland Hospital on July 22 at 4.08pm and weighed 3.7kg.

And Kate and Will's baby boy, yet to be named, was born at St Mary's Hospital in west London on July 22 at 4.24pm and weighed 3.8kg.

The time difference between New Zealand and England means the royal baby was actually born 11 hours and 16 minutes after the Invercargill baby.

"We didn't set out to have a baby on the same day; we were a week overdue," proud mum Kelly said yesterday.

Kelly and Micheal were in England in 2011 when Prince William and Kate had their wedding, so they went to Hyde Park to watch the ceremony on big screens alongside thousands of others and danced in the park.

Little did they realise that more than two years later their first baby would be born on the same day as the royal couple's first baby.

Ashleigh may not have royal blood, but her parents said she was a "little princess in the making" and had been treated like royalty by Southland Hospital staff.

Also born at Southland Hospital on July 22, at 6.55pm, was a baby boy, with his mum, Sonya Pownceby, saying he was yet to be named.

"We are waiting for Kate to name her baby first."

While news of the royal baby's birth spread across the world, a Cromwell couple welcomed their own king into the world on the same day.

Kingi Te Rua Wehewehe Matthews was born at 6.55pm in Alexandra on Monday, weighing in at 3.2kg, to first-time parents Erana Smith and Todd Matthews.

Kingi, which is the Maori word for King, was not chosen because of the link with the royal baby's birth, Miss Smith said. It was Todd and his father's middle name, and was the first name of Todd's grandfather.

"It's a bit of a tradition . . . what a coincidence it means King," Miss Smith said.

She said during her pregnancy she compared herself to the Duchess of Cambridge and while she did suffer morning sickness it wasn't as acute as Kate's. "I always kept it in the back of my mind and people often said ‘you're due the same time as the royal baby'," she said.

During labour, which started at 2am on Sunday, one of the nurses mentioned Kate had also gone into labour. "I was glad someone else on the other side of the world knew how I was feeling," Miss Smith said.

However, she was pleased she wasn't under the public pressure Kate was during her pregnancy.

"I was thinking I was so much bigger than her . . . She always looked so beautiful . . . I hope it [the birth] went well for them."

Statistics New Zealand estimated 167 babies were born in New Zealand on the same date as the future king.

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If the baby was born in New Zealand, its first name was likely to be Jack, Oliver or William, the names that topped the 2012 list of boys' names.

Miss Smith said she would compare the milestones of Kingi and the royal baby.

Meanwhile, baby William, 4.1kg, caused a right royal fuss when he was born at Dunedin Hospital's Queen Mary maternity wing at 5.22pm on Monday, July 22.

Lake Hawea couple, Rachel and Timothy Irvin said William's 3-year-old brother, Theo, named the wee lad after favourite singer Willie Nelson. His other choices had been Zorro or Thomas, after the tank engine.

The Irvins, who emigrated from England 12 years ago, say their English friends and family are delighted at William's aristocratic arrival time.

"We were constantly reminded by them he might come on the same day," Rachel said.

- The Southland Times

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