“At least the pictures for this one are ADORABLE,” I wrote before forwarding an emailed pitch for aden+anais cotton muslin swaddles to several people who I knew would coo at the close-up of tiny HRH Prince George of Cambridge, all snuggled in his car seat.
Barely two hours after the little prince’s public debut Tuesday, the makers of this swaddling cloth already were declaring, via electronic town crier, that this pictorial endorsement proves that their products rule. (According to Twitter reports, they, in fact, sold out a day later in the United Kingdom.)
This public relations pitch was just one among a dizzying number of royal-themed emails for products and events — most NOT endorsed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — that PR professionals used to get editors’ attention before, during and after the Great Royal Baby Watch of 2013. (Hear about the billboard in Vegas that read “Congratulations on the royal addition. See you in 21 years.”?)
Here are some of the crown jewels delivered to the in-box.
Duck of Cambridge
The product: Union Jack-print Duck Tape
The pitch: “The Prince of Cambridge has finally arrived, and it’s time to celebrate! Commemorate the British baby’s birth with a special delivery coming soon to your favorite retailer — Union Jack Duck Tape.
Use Union Jack Duck Tape to add some prince-worthy flair to crafts, accessories, school supplies and more, or give home repairs a more regal feel. Plus, it’s a fun and inexpensive gift for all the wannabe royals in your life, with a suggested retail price of just $4-$6 per roll.”
Delivered at: 12:23 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, just after the baby’s name had been announced.
Commoner’s comment: Great timing for the pitch, though I’m willing to bet the Queen’s scepter that in her palaces, not even the pictures of King George I from the 1700s are held together with Duck Tape.
Eye Spy a Tired Guy
The product: Organic Male OM4 Eyebright Age Defying Moisture Complex
The pitch: “Soon to be father, Prince William, is rapidly approaching long, sleepless nights after the birth of the royal baby. With paternity leave on the rise, new dads can turn to the Organic Male OM4 Eyebright Age Defying Moisture Complex to treat tired eyes.
“This miracle worker reduces eye puffiness and dark circles, all while diminishing inflammation and lifting the skin. The bioactive formula blends botanicals and natural oils to deeply hydrate and protect the skin around the eyes. New dads everywhere can pamper their exhausted eyes, no royalty required.”
Delivered at: 12:26 p.m. Monday, July 22 — almost exactly two hours after the prince was born, but hours before the world knew (and before Prince William’s first sleepless night).
Commoner’s comment: OK, I’m calling primogeniture-ism here. Why just new dads? Where’s the I-just-pushed-this-almost-9-pound-kid-out-using-hypnosis-as-a-painkiller-and-I’m-a-little-tired Organic Female version? Hey, Mary Kay, get on that.
Royal pachyderm of Fort Worth
The product: An event proclaiming the name of the Fort Worth Zoo’s new baby elephant
The pitch: “While the world is celebrating the arrival of the new royal prince, the Fort Worth Zoo is continuing to celebrate the birth of its baby elephant. City of Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has proclaimed Thursday, July 25, ‘Baby Elephant Day’ and has asked citizens to wear pink on Thursday in honor of the baby elephant.
Mayor Price will be at the Zoo on Thursday to announce the baby elephant’s name, which was selected by the public during a two-week-long naming contest held at the Zoo and on its Facebook page.”
Delivered at: 4:01 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, a few hours after the world got its first glimpse of the new prince.
Commoner’s comment: Hey, cute current-event tie-in, Fort Worth Zoo. Could have gone a step further and held another contest in which local folks chose the name of the royal baby. Or placed bets on whether it would take more or less time to name him than it did the elephant. Or guesses how old he’ll be when he rides his first elephant. See what I mean? Totally lost opportunities for more Facebooking!
New Baby Smell 1
The product: Noodle & Boo baby bath and body products
The pitch: “Soon to be mother Kate Middleton is sure to treat her heir to the best — and so can you! Showering and pampering your little one is easy to do with Noodle & Boo, a luxurious collection of bathing and moisturizing product for babies.
“With Noodle & Boo, you can keep your little prince or princess clean with the Bouncing Baby Bubbles and Newborn 2 in 1 Hair and Body Wash. Complete the ultimate bath-time experience with the Baby Balm and Super Soft Lotion. Shower your little one as if they were the future heir to a throne — who needs the crown when you’ve got Noodle & Boo?”
Delivered at: 9:39 a.m. Monday, July 22 — while Kate was in labor.
Commoner’s comment: This California-based company’s relentless royal-tied product pitches started about mid-third-trimester and didn’t stop until I politely asked them (after 13 pitches) please not to send anymore. That was mostly my biological clock talking. I was starting to smell these baby bath products through the computer screen, and every 30-something female knows what that does to the brain.
New Baby Smell 2
The product: Philip Kingsley infant shampoo and body wash
The pitch: “Soon to be mother Kate Middleton is sure to treat her heir to the best — and so can you! Showering and pampering your little one is easy to do with PK Baby.
“A new launch from Philip Kingsley, where his clientele includes royalty, PK Baby is formulated specifically for infants and young children. This ultra mild shampoo and body wash is formulated with mild cleansing agents and features a unique silky texture designed to remain on the hair during use, with less likelihood of running into eyes. So go ahead and shower your little one as if they were the future heir to a throne — who needs the crown when you’ve got PK Baby?”
Delivered at: 8:55 a.m. Tuesday, July 2
Commoner’s comment: Hey, haven’t we heard most of that before? Oh, yes, it’s the same PR company that pitched Noodle & Boo lotions and potions. (So nice to know there are not one but TWO product lines with which “pampering your little one is easy to do!”) Note the time stamp on this one; PK pitched it early and often, too. Tick-tock.
The product: The website Figleaves.com
The pitch: “It’s a boy! Whether he’s officially a baby prince — or your own princelike bundle of joy — here are a few gift ideas from Figleaves.com for pint-sized royalty.”
Delivered at: 3:25 p.m. Monday, July 22 — we had just, in fact, learned it’s a boy!
Commoner’s comment: This perfectly-timed email goes on to pitch knitted toys, a gift box of socks, a playsuit and other cute and cuddly baby things. Click on the website to see more, though, and you’ll find that Figleaves.com is actually a U.K.-based lingerie company. On the homepage are pictures of bras, negligees and men’s underwear. (Quick, cover baby’s eyes!) But, yes, there’s a tab to click on for baby items, too.
Bundle of Joy
The product: aden+anais cotton muslin swaddle
The pitch: “William and Kate headed home today with their newborn baby boy wrapped in an aden+anais 100 percent cotton muslin swaddle. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and brand new parents chose an adorable birds swaddle from the ‘jungle jam’ 4-pack and added a lightweight blanket on the outside.
“Started in New York by an Australian mum, aden+anais is now sold in thousands of retailers around the world and favored by celebrity moms like Hilary Duff, Jessica Alba, Beyoncé, Kristen Bell, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore and many others.”
Delivered at: 3:37 p.m. Tuesday, July 23 — two hours after the baby had made his first royal wave.
Commoner’s comment: Adorable. I want one, and I don’t have a baby to swaddle — not even a small pet. I’d steep some tea, rub on some Noodle & Boo, swaddle my feet and kick back for a Downton Abbey marathon.