Friday, 12 July 2013

Royal Babymania... Win Royal Cushions!


The Royal Baby – or ‘Baby Cambridge’ – is due to be born on July 13th.  After months of making headlines, the baby is likely to generate still more media attention this summer.  Journalists and photographers have already begun congregating outside St. Mary’s Hospital, London, where the birth is expected to take place; the baby's arrival will be officially announced to the public via a notice attached to the palace gate.

Diana and Charles with baby William outside St. Mary's.
(img src The Telegraph)

The media hype will reach its peak over the next couple of days, as the date approaches.  There have already been instances of Royal Babymania, however…

Babymania:

* The Royal Baby made it onto The Times New Power List earlier this year, coming in at number 10 under the title ‘The Duchess of Cambridge’s Child’. 

*An online shop, The Royal Nursery (
www.royalbaby.com) professes to sell items for ‘the baby that deserves everything’, including a $1499 solid gold feeding spoon. 

"Not All Babies Are Born With a Silver Spoon in Their Mouth"
- The Royal Nursery

* The Royal Nappy, a new book by Nicholas Allan, proposes to tell the history of the royal nappy from Henry VIII to the present, through the story of Nanny and the ‘Royal nappy cabinet’, and tells of the advantages of different nappies for different occasions (“parachuting nappies” and “shiny nappies for palace floors – whee!” are examples, according to The Guardian). 

Front cover of The Royal Nappy, by Nicholas Allan

* The Royal Baby has been tweeting from three different parodic Twitter accounts, and already has a Wikipedia page, having been referred to by The Washington Post as “the world’s most famous baby”. 

* Betting shops are expecting baby-related bets to reach £300k by the time the baby is born.  At the moment, the most popular possible names are Alexandra and Victoria (the majority of bets are expecting a girl), or George if the child is male.

*A recent Vogue
article described the Duchess of Cambridge on a skiing trip, teaching a child to toboggan; the description ends with the ridiculous statement “after that she went inside and ate a bowl of pasta for tea”.


So why is there such a hilarious fuss about the Royal Baby?  Apart from the obvious – everybody loves babies, and the British public have an endless fascination with the lifestyles of the monarchy - there is perhaps another reason.

The Duke and Duchess of York with their daughter, later to become
Queen Elizabeth II.
(img src The Mirror)

Following the Succession to the Crown Bill, male heirs will no longer take precedence over women in line to the throne.  According to Francesca Rice in Marie Claire, the birth of a female child could be “a seminal moment in the fight for female equality”, in that whether the child is female or male, it will become third in line to the throne.  Rice also points out that the Equality (Titles) Bill, which would allow female heirs to inherit hereditary titles, is scheduled a second reading in parliament – if the Royal Baby should turn out to be a girl, a huge overhaul of tradition is a possibility, hugely affecting the lineage of the British aristocracy.

Babies or children in important positions are no anomaly historically (Edward VI is an example from English history, having ascended to the throne at the age of nine), and apart from the Royal Baby, there are possibilities of similar changes to tradition elsewhere in coming years – the Dalai Lama has recently suggested that, for the first time in history, his selected successor may be female.

Painting of Edward VI as Prince Edward in 1539,
by Hans Holbein the Younger.

All members of the royal family were, of course, babies at one stage.  An exhibition at the Museum of London, ‘A Royal Arrival’, presents a collection of baby clothes to the public – baby clothes owned by the monarchs of the past.  Items include a cap worn by Charles I, a vest and mitten worn by George III and a nursing apron thought to have belonged to Queen Victoria. 



And so, in the spirit of royal textiles and Royal Babymania… we would like to announce the arrival of our Royal Baby cushion, to be released upon the birth of the Royal Baby.

Also, we are now running a competition with a fantastic prize – your choice of Royal cushions, to the value of up to £150!  All you have to do to win is send in your guess of the Royal Baby’s name.  We’ve already received a few unofficial guesses in comments on our Facebook page, but in order to enter the competition, please go to the competition page on our website and enter your choice of baby name and required details (one entry per person only; no entries will be accepted following the public announcement of the baby's name).

Good luck… and enjoy the excitement! 

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