Royal baby debut: Aussie wool picked over Kiwi craft

Kate Middleton and Prince William show off their new baby wrapped in Aussie wool.Photo / AFP
Kate Middleton and Prince William show off their new baby wrapped in Aussie wool.Photo / AFP

Despite being gifted a New Zealand, hand-made shawl that took 280 hours to craft, the royal baby made his debut wrapped in Aussie wool.

The future king, Prince George, was wrapped in a white shawl made from Australian merino wool when Prince William and Kate Middleton first showed him off to the world.

NZ's official gift to the royal couple was a hand-spun, hand-knitted fine lace shawl, similar to the one gifted from the Kiwis when Prince William was born.

The hand-spun shawl given to the new royal baby from NZ.Photo / Sacha Kahaki
The hand-spun shawl given to the new royal baby from NZ.Photo / Sacha Kahaki

The intricate shawl was designed by Margaret Stove, who was also responsible for Prince William's shawl. Cynthia Read spun the wool and knitted the shawl.

Ms Read toiled over the piece for 280 hours, and just hopes the new baby will get a chance to be wrapped up in it.

The life-long knitter and award-winning spinner from Cambridge was stunned to be asked to come up with a present for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

"It was quite a daunting task, but I said 'yes', and then I thought, 'What have I gotten myself in for?'" Mrs Read said.

Check out Prince George wrapped up in the Aussie merino in the video below:

Video

Then, just minutes after the Duke and Duchess introduced their son to the world, he returned swaddled in a blanket designed by an Australian mum before being placed in a car capsule and driven home by his proud dad.

The bird-print cotton swaddle was from US-based company aden + anais, whose founder is Aussie mother-of-four Raegan Moya-Jones.

"We are truly grateful and so delighted that the couple chose to debut the prince in aden + anais," she said in a statement.

"We wish the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge many congratulations on the birth of their son."

Ms Moya-Jones had children after moving to the United States and couldn't find a swaddle like those she remembered from home.

They were either too small, too thick and heavy, too restrictive or too unattractive, the company says on its UK website.

"So Raegan designed a swaddle large enough to be truly useful to mothers - and not just for swaddling but as a stroller cover, nursing shield, tummy time blanket or a burping cloth."

The royal baby - named George Alexander Louis on Wednesday - gave what appeared to be a tiny royal wave from within its Aussie merino shawl when Kate first carried him out of St Mary's Hospital on Tuesday evening.

The shawl was made by a small English family-run company called GH Hurt & Son based in Nottingham.

The delicate creation is similar to one the baby's father, the Duke of Cambridge, had as an infant, which was also made by the firm.

A company spokeswoman on Wednesday said the shawl was made from a blend of Australian Botany Wool and another thread, fine-spun in Italy, that could also be from Down Under.

"We feel honoured that William and Kate have chosen to use our beautiful merino wool shawl and in doing so have continued a tradition for the next generation of royals," GH Hurt & Son said in a statement.

The company experienced a rush of orders for the super-fine merino wool christening shawl, which costs STG45 (NZ$47), within 20 minutes of the first sighting of the future king.

- nzherald.co.nz with AAP and AP

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