Your Royal Highness,
Congratulations Kate! You’ve been a Mummy for a whole year now and your precious first born is celebrating his first birthday. It’s quite a milestone and I hope you are taking time to reflect on your journey so far. The first year brings up a whole range of experiences and emotions as a new parent and it’s lovely to see all those ‘firsts’ that come in quick succession – smiles, giggles, crawling, eating solids, walking etc.
As a Mum myself to two little ones I found the first birthday celebrations very special, and even though they won’t remember their parties I thought it was important to celebrate these special events with our families. I hear that a Peter Rabbit themed party is planned for Prince George’s first birthday. I’m sure that given Grandma and Grandad’s line of business the party venue will look amazing.
I have a few suggestions of other things you might want to do in order to remember this special time:
- Write George a birthday letter. Tell him about what his days currently involve and about the things he loves to do. What are his favourite toys, his favourite foods and who are the people that are special to him? What are the quirky little habits he has, or funny stories of things he’s done recently. Write a letter like this every year on his birthday and keep them in a safe place.
- Make up a Memory Box of his first year. Special outfits and special toys. A lock of hair from his first haircut perhaps, and some souvenirs from his travels and adventures.
I’m aware that as heir to the throne his every move will be chronicled in some way by those who follow and study the monarchy. But these letters and these Memory Boxes should be something very personal, and just for you and him. They will be such a special gift to share with him when he’s older.
When my children were born, and then when they celebrated their first birthdays, I was overwhelmed with all the thoughtful gifts they received from family and friends. I can only imagine the range of items baby George receives – some more weird and wonderful than others I imagine!
I was heartened to hear though that when George was born that you expressed your gratitude for the gifts you had already received, but also suggested people wishing to celebrate the birth may look to donate to a local charity.
The statement at the time read: “To harness this extraordinary generosity of spirit, the Duke and Duchess suggest people might at this time look to support those more in need; perhaps a children’s charity local to them, as a way of marking the birth of their child.”
I had the idea to start a charitable organisation around the time that my youngest child turned one. At Stripey Stork we equip local families who need support with the essential items they need for their babies and children. Parents who, for a number of reasons, can’t provide these things for their children and can’t count on the support of family and friends. We’re always very grateful for financial donations which we use to buy things like new mattresses for pre-loved cots. Having a safe, clean bed to sleep in seems like such a basic right for a child as I’m sure you will agree.
I’m guessing that you’re probably keeping a lot of baby George’s things for any siblings that may come along, but if you decide that the Palace is getting a little overcrowded with baby grows and tiny dungarees, then you have number of options.
- It’s always great to be able to pass on items to friends and family who have younger children – baby Mia Tindall perhaps?
- Some people like to sell some of their items and raise funds for the next age range of clothes, or a family treat – if you’re interested then I can point you in the direction of some great Nearly New Sales in our area, and a very helpful Facebook group who are active in buying and selling, as well as giving useful advice.
- If you’d like to see George’s things go to families that really need them then we’d be happy to see you at one of our Stripey Stork Donation Stations soon. Just check our list of what we rehome and also check whether the items meet the safety and quality standards we have for all our donated items.
Congratulations again, and enjoy helping George blow out the candle on his first birthday cake. Being a Duchess must have its perks, but being a Mummy is the best job in the world.
Photo: John Stillwell/PA