On Friday Prince William celebrated his 37th birthday, but he shares his birthday with one more person close to him. Neve Te Aroha Gayford is the daughter of New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, and she just celebrated her first birthday, sharing her birthday date with the Prince, from who she got a very special gift.
Jacinda’s partner Clarke Gayford took to Twitter to share a picture of the adorable toy, which had been adorned with a silver plate reading: “Happy Birthday Neve. From Prince William”. Wow!
Clarke wrote in his tweet: “Torn between letting the 1st birthday girl continue to maul this amazing gift or putting it somewhere safe FOREVER. Happy Birthday Prince William, what a great shared birthday (I’m pretty sure you win with this).”
It seems that the wooden toy is more than meets the eye, as it looks very much like a toy that the Prince himself had. We can see the toy in a photograph when he was a baby. In the photo, we see Prince Charles and Princess Diana with their young son in 1983, during their own royal tour of New Zealand. The moment was captured at Government House in Auckland.
Many fans speculated as to whether it was the same item or a replica, with one writing on Twitter: “The Buzzy Bee is a classic NZ toy pretty much every baby has here. I still have mine. Prince William made it world-known back when he was a wee one over here.” Another added of the product code on the toy: “No 1218 that’s one of the original ones, I think… pretty cool! Is it the same one he got given?”
The young Prince was in fact originally given the colourful toy by Lady Beattie, the wife of then Governor-General Sir David Beattie, who died at the age of 92 in May 2018. Some fans suggested that William had passed on the gift in her memory, with another Twitter user adding: “You know he’s returning the favour of the late Lady Beattie, Norma, who passed last year who famously gave the Prince the same gift. We’ll always remember you, Norma.”