With eight-month-old Prince George having arrived in Wellington on Monday on his first ever royal tour, New Zealanders have been pondering just what kind of a gift is fit for a prince.
George, third in line to the throne, is accompanying his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a 10-day tour of New Zealand.
The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society plans to give the prince a blue teddy bear and his very own Plunket book, the same as that given to all Kiwi babies when they are born in which all their vital health statistics are recorded.
George will also receive some bedtime reading.
The group which runs New Zealand Post Book Awards is to give George a set of five picture books, the finalists in this year’s competition.
At his age, the young prince is expected to be drawn most strongly to the book, Boats, by Catherine Foreman. The picture book has bold illustrations in primary colours and short sentences.
The fifth book Watch Out, Snail! tells of the night-time adventures of the carnivorous New Zealand powelliphanta snail, the largest snail in the world.
The chairwoman of the group which oversees the awards, Nicola Legat, said the authors had written personal messages to the prince in each of their picture books.
“The authors’ messages to the prince are absolutely delightful and very personal to him.”
It will be a gift that goes on giving with the group planning to give Prince George autographed copies of the award finalists every year.
“First the picture books as he’s so young, then he’ll receive the non-fiction and junior fiction. When he’s 13, we’ll send the autographed young adult fiction books. By the time Prince George grows up, the Cambridge family will have a wonderful collection of New Zealand literature, all personally inscribed.”
Ms Legat said the picture books were being sent to Kensington Palace, and would be waiting for the family when they arrived home.