As Catherine Middleton and her husband, Prince William, prepare in private for the imminent arrival of their first child, it appears as though the rest of the country – and even some outside it – has gone royal baby crazy.
Jewel-encrusted baby gifts, betting on names, royal baby-themed crackers – these are just a few of the various eccentricities that have abounded in recent weeks as the world watches with bated breath for Britain’s future monarch.
Bets have been running for weeks now on all things related to the upcoming birth, from the sex and name of the baby to even the day it will happen. According to The Week, bookmakers are currently saying tomorrow, Thursday July 11, is most likely to be the big day.
And though the sex of the baby is still unknown – the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge prefer to be surprised – a surge of interest has pushed Alexandra to the fore. Other girls' names in the running include Victoria and Diana, reports the Telegraph. The most widely speculated boy's name is that of Kate’s younger brother, James.
The child will be given the title Prince or Princess of Cambridge. But regardless of gender, he or she will be third in line for the throne, since Parliament passed a law mandating that a female heir cannot be overtaken by a younger male relative.
Gamblers aren’t the only ones spending money on the royal baby. Sudocrem, which makes skin care creams, has commissioned British jewelry designer Theo Fennell to design a jewel-studded charm bracelet that also serves as a diaper-rash-cream holder for Kate, reports Headlines and Global News. The bracelet costs a reported $15,000.
And that's just one of the gifts the royal couple has received. As HNGN continues:
So far, Kate Middleton and Prince William have received everything from a cardboard box from the Finnish government to a knitted kangaroo from Australia's [former] Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and a crate of organic baby food. PETA gifted the Duke and Duchess a faux-sheepskin baby blanket complete with a little stuffed animal giraffe, and Finnish social security service, Kela, sent the new parents a "baby box" that contains rompers, leggings, a hooded bath towel, hairbrush, diaper rash cream, a picture book, a snowsuit, teething toy and ... condoms!
Other than gifts, Kate and William can expect a deluge of unsolicited advice from the public. According to the Telegraph, parenting website Mumsnet has asked its readers to tweet advice to the soon-to-be mother using the hashtag “#tips4kate.” The best tweets will be compiled and published in a book that will be sent to the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge.
Some of the advice, however, has come from an unlikely source. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, former star of reality TV show “The Jersey Shore” and recent mother, has posted a public letter offering her advice to Kate, reports CBS. Here’s what she had to say:
"In the beginning, right when you take your royal golden nugget home to the castle is the most exciting experience of your life. I couldn't wait to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of my little prince Lorenzo."
"But that lasts for about a few days. Then it's like, 'I love you but OMG stop crying! I'm exhausted.' The lack of sleep you will get used to -- just do your makeup, put a tiara on, and you'll look beautiful as usual," she added.
At least the royal couple will not be the only recipients of baby-related goods. According to the Huffington Post, the Royal Mint will be distributing silver coins to all children born on the same day as the royal baby. Only a limited amount – 2,013 coins – will be minted though, so new parents will have to act fast in order to get one.
The baby will be born at St. Mary's Hospital in London, where both William and his brother Prince Harry were born.