Royal baby birth will light up NZ landmarks

Auckland's Sky Tower has been lit up pink before for breast cancer awareness. The landmark will be washed in pink if the royal baby is a girl, and blue for a boy.Photo / File
Auckland's Sky Tower has been lit up pink before for breast cancer awareness. The landmark will be washed in pink if the royal baby is a girl, and blue for a boy.Photo / File

Nearly 30 landmarks around New Zealand will be lit up pink or blue to mark the birth of the royal baby, due this weekend.

Monarchy New Zealand came up with the illuminating concept and has managed to get loads of landmarks on board, including the Sky Tower and The Cloud in Auckland; Wellington's Majestic Centre lights; Christchurch Airport; and the corrugated iron dog in Tirau.

With the due date looming, the duchess stopped official duties last month while Prince William, a helicopter search-and-rescue pilot and grandson of Queen Elizabeth, is on standby at an air force base in north Wales to rush back to London.

The couple have remained vague about the exact date the baby is due other than to say mid-July and the arrival will be announced in a combination of the traditional and modern - via Twitter, websites and with a notice outside Buckingham Palace.

Officials announced overnight Prince William and Kate Middleton's child will be known by its given name and would have the title His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess of Cambridge.

Chairman of Monarchy New Zealand, Sean Palmer, told the Herald Online the tribute shows New Zealand's strong connection to the monarchy.

"This baby is going to grow up to be the king or queen of New Zealand one day and we think it's nice to mark the start of this person's life," he said.

Most of the structures are already fitted out with the appropriate gear, so the cost of illuminating in either pink or blue won't be that great.

And, Mr Palmer pointed out, the project has gained global interest, shining a spotlight on NZ. The Kiwi idea has already been adopted in Canada, where the National Tower in Toronto and the Niagra Falls will be lit up.

While baby guessing games are buzzing, Mr Palmer said he's secretly planning for a late arrival of a baby girl, hopefully called Elizabeth.

"I think it would be very nice after 61 years of Queen Elizabeth II - and we will have some some years with King Charles and King William - I think it might be nice to have a queen again.

"If I had to guess, I think it would certainly be a great gesture to be looking at an Elizabeth III."

More on the royal baby:

Check out Kate's growing baby bump here
Reflect on the royal romance in this interactive timeline

Click around the map or have a search to find out all the landmarks that will be lit up:

- www.nzherald.co.nz

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