'Looks like I’m beating the sapphires!' - Irish basket maker 'flattered' his rattle toy was gifted to Princess Charlotte
An Irish basket maker has won the battle of the rattles as his simple woven toy was given to Princess Charlotte for her first birthday by her grandfather, the Prince of Wales.
Native Galway weaver Ciaran Hogan (34) says he is “flattered” with all the attention he’s received since his simple willow woven rattle was listed among hundreds of presents given to the little princess over the last 12 months to celebrate her birthday on May 2.
The simple toy might seem out of place in the royal’s toy box, which already contains a €40k white gold rattle studded with diamonds, rubies and sapphires as well as gifts from a king, two queens, four presidents and three prime ministers, but according to the weaver “sometimes the simplest toy is the best”.
“It looks like I’m beating the sapphires,” joked the 34-year-old craftsman from Joyce Country.
“Children usually like the straightforward toys the most, so I’m flattered that my rattle has got the attention it has.
“It’s got seven stones inside to make the noise.
“These represent the seven deadly sins, so when the child shakes it, they’re banishing them.”
First presented to Prince Charles last May during his historic visit to Galway, Ciaran said he was “surprised” that his gift had made its way into the Royal Highness’ granddaughter’s toy chest.
“It’s a simple enough design and only takes 10 to 15 minutes to make, so when I heard about the Prince’s new grandchild I thought it would be an ideal gift to remember his visit to the area.
“It was very nice to meet him as he was very friendly and did seem to be genuinely interested in the rattle.”
He added: “I’m delighted he kept it to be honest. It’s very flattering.”
Ciaran, who followed his father into the weave trade some years ago, said that the majority of his business was making log baskets from willow sourced locally from Loch Na Fooey.
"I’ve always enjoyed the idea of being able to go out cut and harvest the willow and use it to create something from noting. There’s a pride in that."
A list of gifts released by Kensington Palace shows that among the more extravagant presents received by Princess Charlotte over the past 12 months include a silver rattle given to her by the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and his wife, Señora Angélica Rivera.
Even more lavish was an 18k white gold rattle studded with diamonds, rubies and sapphires made by the Natural Sapphire Company and valued at €40,000.
In total, Princess Charlotte received gifts and letters from 64 countries around the world.