London: Prince William and his pregnant wife Kate Middleton have received a baby box as a gift from the Finland Government for their royal baby expected to be born this month.
The 75-year-old tradition of the baby box introduced by the Finland Government crossed borders last week when it was received by the royal couple, who are expecting their first baby.
Finland`s social security service, Kela has presented the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with a cardboard baby box which comes with a fitted mattress and sleeping bag and other essential baby items that a new parent could possibly need.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said, "We were delighted to receive the very kind gift of a maternity package from the Finnish Government. It was a very thoughtful gesture. I`m sure the Duke and Duchess will be very interested to see the contents."
The baby box tradition in Finland dates back to 1938 when the government there initiated a scheme to make the box available to low income families, free of cost and later, in 1949, to all mothers-to-be under the Finnish social security system.
Last month, the BBC wrote about the role played by the scheme in helping the country achieve one of the world`s lowest infant mortality rates.
Kela`s spokeswoman Heidi Liesivesi said, "Kela wanted to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The maternity package gained such a positive response from all around the world. The timing was perfect that the royal couple are having a baby."
The brightly coloured box, which also doubles as a cot, contains numerous mother and baby items including a sleeping bag, daipers, sheets, jump suits, socks, pants, a knitted hat, and a toy.
Prince William and his wife Kate are the second royal couple to receive the baby box as a gift from Finland. In February last year, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden were given one to celebrate the birth of Princess Estelle.