Countess of Chester Hospital pay tribute to Prince George in special book

PUBLISHED: 00:18 24 December 2013

Amy Shone and Freddie Timms, Lisa Holloway and Lily Holloway, Rebecca Nield and Alissa Jones, Victoria Mataitonga and Braxton Mataitonga with Marie Smith and Alaiya Lily O'Hara

Amy Shone and Freddie Timms, Lisa Holloway and Lily Holloway, Rebecca Nield and Alissa Jones, Victoria Mataitonga and Braxton Mataitonga with Marie Smith and Alaiya Lily O'Hara

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By George, that's a coincidence! Seven babies born in Chester on the same day as the future king, have been immortalised in a special book

Liz Manifold (Majestic Publications) and Lesley Woodhead with copies of the book including one due to be sent to Kensington PalaceLiz Manifold (Majestic Publications) and Lesley Woodhead with copies of the book including one due to be sent to Kensington Palace

They are, as yet, blissfully unaware that they share a big day in history. But as Prince George celebrates every big birthday, probably in the glare of world media attention, these seven youngsters will be celebrating the very same landmark in their own way.

To commemorate that day in history - July 22 2013 - fundraisers at the Countess of Chester Hospital had photographs taken of all seven babies born there on the same day as George . The seven are: Olivier Niedzwiecka, Freddie Shone, Lily Holloway, Zasha Hamid, Braxton Mataitonga, Alaiya Lily O’ Hara and Elissa Jones.

Those portraits were then bound, for no charge, in a lavish book by Majestic Publications, a family-run Chester firm, and a copy presented to each of the mums in a ceremony hosted by Abode Hotel, Chester.

The book, which bears the names of 1,000 wellwishers each paying a pound for the privilege, was also posted to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. With Majestic kindly donating another £200, the effort raised £1,200 for the hospital’s Babygrow Appeal.

‘It’s very special - a day in history, which was clear when we saw the picture at Prince George’s christening showing four generations together,’ says Lesley Woodhead, corporate and events fundraising manager, who dreamed up the idea for the book months before the happy event.

‘I thought, could there be a better year to raise money for babies - Call The Midwife, One Born Every Minute and a royal baby? When I got the idea, I went to the publishers and said: “There’s only you can help with this, because you’re Majestic”.

‘This was a lovely project to work on - we were all very excited when Kate went into labour and it was very special for me to meet the mums and the babies when they were newly born. It was great to see them all three months on laughing and smiling.’

The book should hold special meaning for Prince William. The Countess of Chester Hospital is named after one of the titles of his late mother Princess Diana, who, 29 years ago, officially renamed the hospital.

The Babygrow Appeal has a target of £3m to build a new neo-natal unit.

‘Our charity exists to do above and beyond what the NHS provides,’ explains Lesley. ‘We have a unit now which is fine but too small. One of the things that’s changed in neo-natal is the involvement of parents. Thirty years ago, when the unit was built, parents were pretty much looking through the window with their fingers crossed. Now mums and dads and grandparents are sitting next to the incubator turning the baby, touching the baby.’

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