Gaelyn McGregor ushered in the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis with a royal baby shower.
The Charleswood resident, who is also a highland dance teacher, threw a tea party on Aug. 10 with her royal family-obsessed friends and senior highland dance students in honour of the new prince, who was born on July 22. The invitations said hats and fascinators were optional, but a bottle of baby food each was mandatory.
"In lieu of (baby shower) gifts, we thought it would be a great idea to have people bring baby food for Winnipeg Harvest," McGregor said.
McGregor and the other women donated about 57 pounds of baby food to Winnipeg Harvest’s Hunger for Hope program which is dedicated to ending child hunger in Manitoba.
According to the Winnipeg Harvest website, about 1,600 infants "require emergency baby formula from Winnipeg Harvest each month."
Chris Albi, communications coordinator for Winnipeg Harvest, said that baby food is the only thing that doesn’t get donated because it’s "very costly".
Winnipeg Harvest has an annual cash operating cost of $200,000 solely for baby food and formula.
The idea for this royal baby shower began on Apr. 29, 2011 when McGregor’s dance students and their mothers came over to her house to watch the royal wedding. They said that once Prince William and Kate Middleton had a baby, they’d throw a royal baby shower.
"We had lots of decorations with the British flag. My husband loved it because he is English," McGregor said with a chuckle.
Present at the baby shower were typical British snacks, such as cucumber sandwiches, crumpets, scones, berries and clotted cream, and plenty of tea, followed by a toast to the new prince.
McGregor said she will continue to throw royal baby showers if William and Kate keep having children.
McGregor has always been a follower of the royal family, especially Princess Diana, because she was relatable.
"Diana was the one that really made it a little bit more tangible, being the same age as me," McGregor said.
Once a highland dancer, McGregor recalled a time when she was actually in the same room as the royal family.
"I used to highland dance myself and competed in Scotland, travelling to Balmoral, the Queen’s summer residence," McGregor said. "I was invited to dance for the Queen, and my daughter was as well. She met the Queen when she was five years old."
McGregor now owns and teaches at the McGregor Studio of Highland Dance. For more information or to enrol in her studio, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Winnipeg Harvest’s Hunger for Hope program, visit hungerforhope.org