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Tampa Bay welcomes the royal baby

"I'm an old lady," says Chattaway owner and London ex-pat Jill Frers, who said she was was moved to tears by news of the royal baby's birth on Sunday. "We like tradition." The Chattaway has a long tradition of celebrating royal family milestones — here, staff hang banners celebrating Prince William's and Kate Middleton's wedding in April 2011.

SCOTT KEELER | Times (2011)

"I'm an old lady," says Chattaway owner and London ex-pat Jill Frers, who said she was was moved to tears by news of the royal baby's birth on Sunday. "We like tradition." The Chattaway has a long tradition of celebrating royal family milestones — here, staff hang banners celebrating Prince William's and Kate Middleton's wedding in April 2011.

It was all a bit more formal, Jill Frers remembers, when Prince Charles and Princess Anne were born and the words "going into labor" were a little too unseemly to be spoken of would-be kings and queens.

Still, upon hearing the news Monday that the latest royal baby was ready to arrive, Frers wept. Explained the 81-year-old London ex-pat and owner of the Chattaway in St. Petersburg, who sometimes refers to herself as Lady Chattaway, "It just feels like we're part of the family."

In this manner the United Kingdom made its presence felt across Tampa Bay with the birth of an 8-pound, 6-ounce son, third in line to the throne and first child of Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton.

At the Chattaway, preparations began for a menu of cornish pasty — "It's lovely and flaky with hamburger, peas and carrots" — while London Porter was put on ice. An order went out for a "big, wonderful blueberry cake," a wink to the baby's gender.

"I'm an old lady," Frers said. "We like tradition."

The news from London also was cause for celebration at the Mad Dogs and Englishmen pub in South Tampa.

Owner Wilton Morley was offering free champagne to patrons Monday to celebrate, and said kids will eat free this week.

Bartender Hugo Morley — Wilton's nephew — put a cardboard cutout of the happy couple in the pub's front window.

"It's very exciting news," he said. "We have a future king."

Wilton Morley, who grew up near Oxford, opened the pub in 1991 and said that royal events — like the royal wedding in 2011, the Queen's Jubilee last summer and now the royal birth — help bring in an American crowd.

"We've seen the monarchy up and down many times — but today is an up day," he said. "There's no harm in spreading happiness."

At the bar, Dawn and Matt Vogler of Tampa watched CNN's coverage from London.

"It's a healthy baby," Dawn said.

"That's a big baby," Matt said. "Eight-six."

"It's more special because we remember when William was born, let alone when his baby was born," Dawn said.

They said that the example set by William and Kate is a positive one for young parents.

"In this day and age, you'd think people their age would be out partying," Matt said. "It's a breath of fresh air."

Tampa Bay welcomes the royal baby 07/22/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 8:05am]
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