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Birth of Royal Baby Celebrated in Greenwich Village's 'Little Britain'

By  Andrea Swalec and Ben Fractenberg | July 22, 2013 12:42pm 

 Shops and restaurants on Greenwich Avenue prepared Monday, July 22, 2013 for the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton's first child.
'Little Britain' in NYC Celebrates Royal Baby
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — Royal baby fever hit the Village Monday afternoon as Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton gave birth to a baby boy.

As people worldwide celebrated the birth of Prince William and Middleton's first child, the Greenwich Avenue block known as "Little Britain" joined in on the fun, breaking out the Champagne and hanging Union Jack bunting.

The English tea house and store Tea & Sympathy posted an "It's a Boy" banner on the storefront as soon as news broke of the newest royal, with workers and friends toasting the birth.

"It feels like we've been waiting for this for ages," said tea house manager Hayley Simmonds, 28, who grew up in England and has lived in the United States for three years. 

Outside the flag-draped shop, Simmonds said she thought the royal family would go for a traditional name like George or James, but she hoped they would choose something more original, like Daniel.

"I hope they don't [wait] too long," Simmonds said. "I want to know now."

Before the baby's birth was announced, Simmonds sat amid scores of teacups and chintzy floral tablecloths and said the restaurant would bake pink cupcakes in the hope that the child would be a girl.

"It's not only a royal baby, [the baby] is third in line for the throne, which is exciting," she said, adding the restaurant would throw a party for the child's christening.

Farther west on Greenwich Avenue between West 13th and West 12th streets, Cole's Greenwich Village owner Penny Bradley said Monday morning that restaurant workers would hang flag bunting outside.

Chef Daniel Eardley will plan a special British entree, too, she said.

"When you're British, a royal birth is something to be so proud of," Bradley said. "It's a new generation for the British royal family."