|Why Kate Won't Have a Baby Shower|
|By GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN (@gsbrownabc)||Mar 29, 2013, 7:33 AM|
As the world awaits the birth of the royal baby, it seems Kate Middleton is counting down the days too.
According to People magazine, the Duchess of Cambridge "has been plenty busy feathering her nest."
And despite recent reports that party planning sister Pippa will be throwing a baby shower for Kate, royal experts say there is virtually no chance of baby shower.
Besides the fact that baby showers are only just starting to catch on in the United Kingdom, there's the "added pressure that they are clearly very wealthy, and a lavish baby shower would be seen as highly inappropriate," said Victoria Arbiter, ABC News Royal Expert. "There's nothing they can't go out and buy themselves."
In fact, any gifts given to the royal couple for the baby must be "respectfully returned." There's a possibility the couple instead request charitable donations, as they did in lieu of a wedding registry, she said.
So how is Kate going to get all the baby stuff she needs? She'll likely shop less at high-end boutiques and more at stores British stores like Mamas and Papas, Arbiter said.
ABC News has exclusively learned Mamas and Papas will be launching their U.S. site on April 1.
Olivia Robinson, creative director of the family-owned business, agreed baby registries – or "wish lists," as they're called in the U.K. – are far less popular than they are in the U.S., but it is customary for the baby's grandparents to buy some big-ticket items, like the pushchair, or as we call it in the States, the stroller.
Robinson said she guessed the Duchess might opt for a stroller like the Urbo. "It's practical and compact, easy to open. It's a good choice for a busy mom." And practicality is something that's important to the royals.
The Mamas & Papas Urbo stroller in red. Mamas & Papas will launch their U.S. site on April 1, 2013.
"They don't necessarily buy the top of the line products," Arbiter said. "They'll buy something practical and useful." And it helps that Mamas and Papas is one of the most popular baby brands. "Kate will likely shop for British products. She's well aware of the 'Kate effect' and knows whatever she buys will sell out. If a product does sell out from a British store, it's good for the economy."
And while the royal family can't accept gifts leading up to the birth of their baby, it is ok for them to accept gifts from the family and friends who come to meet the baby after he or she is born, customary in the British culture.
A big, lavish baby shower looks very unlikely, but if Pippa were to host anything, Arbiter said, it would be a very-low key gathering of very close friends. And there's at least one person we can guarantee won't be on the guest list. "The queen is not going show up at any party organized by Pippa."