As the royal family gets ready to baptise Prince George, children at a hospice in Devon are celebrating the link between the royal baby and a hand-painted model gorilla.

The gorilla, part of Paignton Zoo’s Great Gorillas Project, was created by children at Children’s Hospice South West and named George.

Naomi Dymond, from Children’s Hospice South West, said: “Kate has an affiliation with the hospice movement, but we never thought she’d name her baby after our gorilla!” The Duchess of Cambridge visited a hospice in Hampshire as part of Children’s Hospice Week 2013.

“We are extremely honoured that our little gorilla shares his name with the future King of England. Who was to know, when we named him George, that the Duchess of Cambridge would follow suit?”

Prince George will be christened Wednesday, 23rd October.

“Our George was fashioned at Little Bridge House with help from our children and families, so he is also a very special George. At the end of the Great Gorillas Project he’ll return to us, and we’re planning a welcome home ceremony fit for a king!”

Paignton Zoo’s Great Gorillas Project put a host of large painted gorillas on to the streets of South Devon this summer in a free public art trail marking the charity’s 90th birthday.

George, who is 77 centimetres (two and a half feet) tall, is yellow and covered in handprints.

George’s big brother is the life-size gorilla named Five Minutes to Midnight, who is sponsored by solicitors Wollen Michelmore. The firm are long-time supporters of Children’s Hospice South West, which helps families whose children are living with life-limiting or life threatening conditions.

Five Minutes to Midnight will be auctioned in November as part of the climax to the Great Gorillas Project, with the proceeds from his sale going to Children’s Hospice South West. The proceeds from the sale of the other gorillas in the auction will go towards gorilla conservation.

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