LONDON - What do you give the baby who will have everything? The question is one which companies and countries around the world have tackled with panache in advance of the birth of Britain’s future monarch.
Kate and William, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, whose baby is expected any day now, have been inundated by gifts ranging from the practical to what some may see as the downright bizarre.
The couple’s local Asda supermarket in Anglesey, north Wales, where William is based as a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot, has presented them with — wait for it — their very own parking space.
“The duchess of Cambridge has graced the store with her presence several times before, and we hope that the addition of her own parking space will entice her and her little prince or princess of Cambridge back to Asda,” said store manager Peter Ellis.
Fine jewelry maker Theo Fennell said he was “thrilled” to have been asked by one company to create an 18-carat white gold bracelet valued at $15,000 for Kate. The glamorous trinket also has a more mundane use — it is “the world’s most luxurious nappy rash cream holder,” according to a spokeswoman for Sudocrem, makers of the antiseptic healing product.
Animal rights activists at PETA decided to send an imitation sheepskin rug to the couple because, they said, “sheepskin blankets traditionally given to newborns in some parts of the UK are products of animal suffering.” For the new baby’s parents, PETA thoughtfully included some vegan caviar and “faux” gras.
Meanwhile, shortly before she was ousted recently as Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard told Women’s Weekly magazine that she was knitting the couple a kangaroo.
Finland has already sent the royal couple a baby starter kit — traditionally given to all Finnish parents — containing everything from bra pads for breast-feeding, to romper suits, condoms and nappies. The box itself doubles up as a crib.
“We were delighted to receive the very kind gift of the maternity package from the Finnish government,” a royal spokeswoman said. “It was a very thoughtful gesture and we’re very grateful for it.”
The palace was more reticent about other gifts, saying only that they will be “logged” and the donors will be thanked.