Royal experts say it’s extremely unlikely Kate Middleton will have a baby shower, despite recent rumors that her younger sister Pippa has been hard at work planning one.
A shower for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, would be very improbable for two reasons, ABC News reported. First, baby showers are far less common in the U.K. than they are in the U.S. And second, experts say the royal couple’s wealth would make a party where guests are required to bring gifts improper.
“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.”
Arbiter added that royal etiquette prohibits the couple from even accepting unsolicited gifts, saying that any baby-themed gifts would need to be “respectfully returned.”
If Pippa does plan an affair for her sister, it would only be a “low-key gathering of very close friends,” Arbiter said. “The queen is not going show up at any party organized by Pippa.”
Arbiter’s report contradicted recent rumors that Pippa had already begun planning a bash for her pregnant sister.
“It was her sister Pippa's idea,” a source told OK! Magazine, according to Hollywood Life. “While it's all going to be very relaxed and fun, Kate is hoping the queen will drop by because the two are remarkably close. They bonded big time and really enjoy each other's company. Since this is going to be a first for royals, Kate would love the queen to be part of it.”
“Pippa is in charge of decorations,” the source added. “Wine and beer will be available -- not that Kate will be drinking alcohol, of course. There will certainly be none of the hard stuff.”
While Arbiter said those claims were probably false, she did allow that the couple might accept charitable donations instead of gifts.
But while Middleton won’t be getting any baby clothing or diaper carousels from shower guests, that doesn’t mean she won’t be doing some shopping on her own. According to Arbiter, Middleton is very conscious of the fact that her purchases often boost retail sales.
“They'll buy something practical and useful,” Arbiter said. “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.”