Okotoks split on royal baby
Royals: Prince George born on July 22 causes frenzy around the world
By: By Jenica Foster
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 12:13 pm
Keep calm, there’s a royal baby.
These words are trending around the world on social media, t-shirts and even Christmas ornaments as a result of the uproar that has erupted over the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s son, George Alexander Louis.
His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge was born July 22 at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. The third in line for the throne had many people on the edge of their seats waiting for the news, including Okotoks resident Lisa Wright. She said she kept looking at the television and searching through websites on July 22 to see if the baby had been born and what it’s name would be. However, it was her 15-year-old son, Matthew, who heard the news first after surfing Twitter.
Prince George has multiple Twitter and Facebook pages dedicated to him. The most popular Facebook page has 8,158 likes so far. Twitters numbers are even more impressive. One profile has a whopping 55,494 followers.
“It’s pretty cool,” Mathew said. “I’m from England and me mum took an interest in what the name was going to be.”
Lisa said she predicted the child would be named George because it is an old royal name and they tend to stay with tradition. She has been following the royal family right from the 2011 wedding that had many Canadians glued to the television in the middle of the night.
It wasn’t just Lisa who tried to predict the name of the newborn. Ladbrokes, a British betting company, said that as of July 23 the top baby name bets were placed on George, with odds three to one, followed closely by James at six to one. Alexander had odds of 11 to one and Louis was even farther down the list at 13 to one.
The world’s striking interest in the royal family has caused the retail industry to jump at the chance to make millions off of the future king. Everything from jewelry, apparel, pacifiers, mugs and even a royal sick bag has been produced. Lisa said she has cups and saucers from Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and Will and Kate’s wedding. She said she likes the merchandise because it is something to pass on and plans to buy a royal baby item as a memento of this event as well.
“We have had so much bad news, it’s nice to see happy stories and good news,” she said. “Many people think the monarchy is not relevant now, but I think there are a lot of people who like the history of it and feel it’s important to keep that history.”
Okotoks resident Eleanor Clark said she remembers being at the Queen’s coronation when she was only eight years old. Brought up in Scotland, she has taken an interest in the royal family from a young age. She said she was particularly interested in the Queen’s visit to the hospital.
“It’s a big thing for the royal family with the Queen going to make a visit because normally you would visit the Queen,” Clark said.
Although Clark said it is mainly older Canadians who have followed the birth as the younger generation doesn’t seem as interested.
Of the younger population who do take an interest, Matthew said it is usually his English friends who are interested in it more than anyone else.
Not all the English living in Okotoks share that opinion. Jacquie Vincent said she believes the birth has been blown out of proportion.
“It’s a big fuss about a baby,” she said. “There were 2,000 other babies born on the same day in the UK.”
She said she thinks many Canadians have taken an interest in the matter because they are fascinated with the royal family.
Okotoks resident Karen Arnold also shares Vincent’s view. She said she’s not a royalist because the royal family doesn’t have much of an impact on Canada.
“I like that we have a royal family and I think it’s fairytale like, it’s just not part of anything that we do,” Arnold said.