British Columbians prepare for royal baby

Gun salute London light show to mark royal birth

The hype may not rival the royal wedding, but preparations for the birth of the royal baby are quietly underway in B.C.

At The Celtic Treasure Chest in Delta, a store that sells British food and souvenirs, owner Steve McVittie is planning to sell royal baby gifts, but says it’s tough to order memorabilia when little is known about the child.


“With the royal wedding you had the pictures, her picture, his picture, you kind of knew what was going on, you could order the stock… With the royal baby they’re not sure if it’s a boy or a girl, so what do you put on a cup or plate?” asks McVittie.

He says when the baby is born his shelves will be fully stocked within two or three days of the birth.

In Victoria, the Fairmont Empress Hotel is giving guests the chance to sign a guest book to wish the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge well. They’re also partnering with C-Fax Santas Anonymous to collect charitable donations to mark the occasion.

“We looked at what was important to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and it’s philanthropy for them,” says Rebecca MacDonald, Marketing Representative for the hotel. She says they’re already onto their third guest book.

Well past the reported due-date of the child, die-hard monarchists are having trouble planning events given the uncertain timing of the birth. The Vancouver chapter of the Monarchist League of Canada isn’t planning an event to celebrate the occasion until mid-August. Keith Roy is the Western Canadian Vice-Chairman of the league and says the birth is symbolic of Canada’s strong ties to the monarchy.

“It’s created a real sense of community, which is really the role of the modern crown — bring people together, bringing communities together,” he says.

Royal births have also historically had another effect: the number of regal baby names in British Columbia has spiked after the birth of a royal.

According to the BC Vital Statistics Agency, parents have undoubtedly been influenced by the royals.

When William was born in 1982, 215 parents used that name for their own child, up from 184 the year before. The same is true for the name “Diana” when the late Princess was pregnant with Will. A modest spike can also be seen for the birth of Prince Charles in 1948, Beatrice in 1988 and it even goes back to the name “Elizabeth” when the Queen was born in 1926.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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