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by Amanda Applebyinfo@amandaappleby.com

Gifts For The Royal Baby

The world felt excitement and joy when Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born earlier this year to Prince William and his glamorous wife, Catherine. A royal baby is always global news and an exciting time - the world gets to see the next heir to a throne. Such is the hysteria around a royal birth, and the British monarchy as a whole, that any and all products or clothes worn by any family member at the time become instant hits, and designers and suppliers sell out almost immediately. This was true with Prince George's birth as well - the dress his mom wore leaving the hospital, and the cloth that he was swaddled in, both sold out within moments of the pair's first steps out of St Mary's hospital in London.

With the birth of any baby, presents to mother and child are plentiful, and this is never truer than with a royal birth. Gifting is not a modern tradition - giving presents of goodwill and good luck to a royal baby goes back hundreds of years, and no expense is ever spared.

Although tradition is a mainstay of most British royal activity, gift giving is slightly less strict. Most people stick to a few firm favourites: silver or gold baby rattles were very popular from the beginning of the monarchy right up until the early 20th century. The small rattles had red coral handles and were given as a talisman to ward away illness and death - as infant death was a common occurrence in those times. A more modern version is a rattle with a red silk ribbon handle.

It comes as no surprise that most gifts given to royal babies are conservative, and probably better suited to the parents than the baby! Girl children are sometimes given a string of pearls, and the boys may receive cufflinks, often monogrammed with their initials. Prince George was reportedly given a pair of cufflinks by Prince Charles' goddaughter.

Presents for the babies tend to get a tad more extravagant at baptism. Gifts like personalised baptismal fonts or silver spoons have been popular christening gifts in the royal household, and often in the middle classes too. A well-known example of a baptismal gift is the Portland font, presented to the Duke of Portland in 1796. It is made of gold and marble, and the three sculptures that support the bowl represent faith, hope and charity. The intricate font is the only known example of a private basin, and is on display in the British Museum.

Royal births send everyone into a frenzy, and with good reason! It is always exciting to see a new life come into the world, especially one that is a future king. We will never truly know the value of all the hundreds of gifts that baby George received, but there is no doubt that those gifts will be something to behold, and in a couple of years, will be a collector's dream!

View products in the following categories:

Silver | Gold | Coral | Cufflinks | Pearl

View blogs with the following tags:

Famous | Gifts | Gold | Royal | Silver
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