The British Emporium: Grapevine’s Royal Headquarters

Posted Monday, Jul. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The day after Prince William’s wife, Kate, gave birth to a son in London, Seth Buttner was in a local shop buying a stuffed animal.

But it wasn’t for the prince, it was for his new little princess.

“My wife Toni gave birth to our daughter, Tabytha Joy, on July 19 and my wife’s birthday is on the 22nd, the same as the royal baby,” Buttner said. “My wife found out she was expecting the same time [as the Duchess of Cambridge] and was kind of hoping they would deliver on the same day.”

Buttner, whose work often involves traveling, purchased a Paddington Bear at The British Emporium so his daughter and the bear “could look after each other while I’m gone.”

“First child, first teddy bear,” Buttner said. “I just wanted to do something special.”

Crowds amassed near Buckingham Palace were overjoyed as news of the royal birth was announced. Two days later, they learned that the baby’s name was George Alexander Louis and he would be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

At The British Emporium, an air of excitement prevailed.

Lynn Clary of Shreveport, La. was elated as she stocked up on bangers (sausages), Yorkshire pudding and other grocery goodies that she planned to take home in a cooler filled with ice.

“I thought it was going to be a girl,” she said, noting that the baby’s gender had garnered increased interest because the prospect of Kate’s pregnancy had prompted a change to laws of succession so that a daughter would not be passed over for the crown by a younger brother.

Shop owner Sheela Kadam posted a large sign at the front of the business trumpeting: “Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”

“Everyone is so happy,” she said.

Kadam said stuffed animals were popular with the post-birth crowd as were tea bags tagged with “have a wonderful birthtea.”

She said the 20-year-old store has been busier since the impending birth was announced.

“We’ve seen a resurgence in traditional pub food,” Kadam said. “The week before the birth it was a fever pitch.”

Not everyone was among the fans.

Charles R. Jordan, 81, of The Colony, found it “humorous” that people had camped for hours outside St. Mary’s Hospital and the palace’s fences for any baby gossip.

“It’s good to hear that the mother and baby are fine, but I think people standing outside the hospital for two weeks, that’s beyond my imagination,” he said.

Andy Moore, originally from London, and wife Theo Regas said the trip from their Euless home to stock up on English fare such as powdered mustard was completely coincidental.

Even so, he said, “I think it’s great. They’re a wonderful couple.”

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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