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Finnish baby box: Unique gift for British royal couple

Finnish baby box: A Finnish maternity gift that is a cardboard box which doubles as a cot, complete with mattress and sheets, and contains baby items including a sleeping bag, jump suits, socks, pants, hats, bonnets and diapers.

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The Finnish baby box includes a cardboard box which doubles as a cot, complete with mattress and sheets, and contains a sleeping bag, jump suits, socks, pants, hats, bonnets and diapers.

(AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Roni Rekomaa)

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A future British king or queen might spend some early hours sleeping in a cardboard box — if a maternity package donated by Finland's social security service proves a success.

The Nordic nation has given a baby box to Prince William and former Catherine Middleton, who are expecting their first baby in mid-July.

The brightly colored cardboard box doubles as a cot, complete with mattress and sheets, and contains numerous baby items including a sleeping bag, jump suits, socks, pants, hats, bonnets and diapers. Maternity packages have been given to expectant mothers in Finland since 1938.

A spokesperson for the royal couple at Kensington Palace said Wednesday that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were "delighted" by their baby box, and that "it was a very thoughtful gesture and we're very grateful for it."

The Christian Science Monitor reports that British retailers are gearing up in anticipation of sales surrounding the blessed event.

"The firstborn of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge is due in July. During that month and until the end of August, British retail sales will get a £243 million ($376 million) boost, predicts the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). Its report, published last month estimated that Brits will spend an extra £62 million ($94 million) on alcohol and £80 million ($121 million) on souvenirs and toys in two months."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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