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Carefree tea room serves as royal baby watch central

PHOENIX — Local royal watchers eagerly await the arrival of the next heir to the British throne and baby watch central seems to be north of Phoenix at a quaint tea room in the heart of Carefree.

Jo Gemmill, owner of English Rose Tea Room, said the baby could change history.

“Up until about a year ago in England, the first-born couldn’t inherit the throne if the baby was a girl,” said Gemmill. “If she has a girl, and we think Kate she is going to have a girl, she could become the Queen of England one day. So it really is a huge thing.”

Gemmill is from Hampshire, England and said she enjoys celebrating momentous occasions with her customers. She’s held celebrations in honor of the royal wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Most recently, she hosted a royal baby shower and encouraged patrons to bring in baby gifts that were then donated to the UMOM Family Shelter in Phoenix.

“We received so many gifts we had to load them on a red, London double-decker bus, drive down to the shelter and deliver the gifts, it was wonderful,” said Gemmell. “So far away from London, it’s nice to have that connection and share these experiences with my customers,” she added.

Once the baby is born, Gemmell plans to display a large banner with the royal baby’s name and gender. She also plans to have plenty of souvenirs for royal family followers.