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Saturday July 26, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday July 26, 2014 MYT 12:13:01 PM
by caroline davies
On his first birthday, the prince is
hailed as a trendsetter and conqueror of republicanism.
Twelve months after his arrival sparked a Twitter meltdown and rendered the panicked assault on primogeniture a little premature, Prince George mania is thriving once again as the third-in-line celebrates his first birthday on July 22. From a specially minted commemorative £5 coin – yours for £80 (RM434) – to myriad magazine covers, via a frenzy of online baby paraphernalia advertorials, the anniversary is sure to set cash registers ringing across the nation.
Since his birth, “the George effect” has been evident across the globe. And not just in sales of striped dungarees — another pair features in pictures released by Kensington Palace to mark his first birthday, taken this month at the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London.
An earlier pair, the £39.99 (RM217) red-and-white striped dungarees he wore to watch his dad play polo at Cirencester on Father’s Day sold out in seconds, as did the £75 (RM410) sailboat dungarees he wore in New Zealand, and a furry kangaroo backpack given to him in Sydney. According to Claire Irvin, editor-in-chief of Mother & Baby magazine: “Prince George is only one, yet he’s had as profound an effect on fashion and clothes sales as his mother.”
Daniel Price, of My 1st Years, a personalised baby gifts website, said: “What’s astonishing is that this little man has given everyone a taste of the feelgood factor, and if he’s spotted wearing or doing anything, then it becomes a sellout or a new trend. “We’ve had products sell out in days after he was photographed wearing something similar. Not even Blue Ivy, North West or Harper Beckham can come close to that kind of power.”
Indeed, such is George’s media clout, Vanity Fair’s latest cover has been given over to “the media star, style icon and PR triumph” that is George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.
He is People magazine’s cover star, too, and is No.1 on the Tatler List of People Who Really Matter. That is way above David Cameron, at 25, and Lupo, the Cambridges’ pet cocker spaniel, who has plummeted from 50th to 297th place. Meanwhile, Uncle Harry and Great Granny the Queen come in a respectable second and third respectively.
George’s top billing is unsurprising given his rather 'simple' personality, which is mainly that he likes sweet potatoes (and clearly butterflies), won’t eat greens unless they are hidden, has at least five teeth, is walking and likes to steal other children’s toys. But such achievements have spawned thousands of words over the past 12 months – more than those devoted to his Auntie Pippa’s posterior.
He’s been seen on holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique, thanks to the paparazzi and Hello! magazine. And he has undertaken a royal tour of New Zealand and Australia – with official engagements at a Wellington playgroup and in the bilby enclosure at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
To cap off a tremendous first year, he has even done his bit to overthrow republicanism. A recent Newspoll survey found that, after George’s Australian tour in April, support for a republic dropped to 40%, its lowest for 20 years, and among 18-34-year-olds the figure was just 17%.
That is some achievement, almost overshadowing his crowning by a hair products website poll as “toddler with the best hair”, trouncing Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, and North West, the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
While Prince George is undoubtedly the most celebrated one-year-old on the planet, his party was actually a “low key” tea party at Kensington Palace. Details about what went down, what was eaten, who gave what, are scant to say the least. But we do have a list of attendees:
1. Daddy and Mummy
2. Uncle Harry
3. The Queen
4. Maternal grandparents, Carole and Michael Middleton
5. Uncle James and Auntie Pippa
6. Godparents Zara Tindall, Julia Samuel, William van Cutsem, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton
Unfortunately, paternal grandparents Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles were absent as they had to attend to official engagements in Cornwall. So yes, as anyone can see, that's a tiny gathering. Can it even qualify as a party? If Prince George says it's a party, then it's a party!
Guests were spotted with shiny parcels on their way to his party, but what these contained have not yet been made public. However, on a more serious note, mum and dad are pleading with the masses of the world to stop giving George presents for now.
During his first year as 'the third one', George received about 4,000 gifts from around the world, including:
1. Three meerkats
3. Two fattened bulls, a heifer and a goat
4. Miniature 'Sealegs' amphibious boat
5. Avanti 'Lil Ripper' bicycle and crash helmet
6. Baby-sized cycling jersey with HRH Prince George printed on the back
7. Child-sized flying helmet lined with possum fur
8. Soft toy wombat
9. Customised surfboard
10. Rocking horse
12. Soft toy bilby (it's an Australian marsupial)
13. Car sticker that reads 'Wild Child on Board'
14. Skateboard with 'George' and two kangaroos painted on it
15. Not to mention a rather odd 'lapis lazuli globe with a cross on it from the Pope
And of course, one day, he will inherit the throne. You can't get a better gift than that. – Guardian News & Media
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Lifestyle, Family, People, Family Community, Prince George, Monarch, Royalty
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