What do you give a child who will one day inherit castles and palaces?
Little Prince George has been honored with a deeply significant and special present: a fattened black bull and goat.
The gift, from the Samburu community in Kenya, is especially poignant for his parents, Prince William and Kate, as the bull will now grow up in Lewa, where they enjoyed a safari holiday at the time of their engagement in 2010.
A palace source tells PEOPLE that discussions have taken place with local cultural leaders and the bull will be used to start a royal herd. Four heifers will go with the bull, and the Northern Rangelands Trust – an organization that provides support to community conservancies – has agreed to keep this nucleus herd on Lewa.
William, 31, has sent the Kenyan community a touching letter of thanks. Written partly in Swahili, the note states that he and Kate, 31, could “not be more grateful.” William said he hopes that 4-month-old George will see the herd someday.
The gift was bequeathed at a Samburu ceremony on Nov. 21 in Wamba, where traditional blessings were made by elders and special dances were performed by women who celebrate the birth of a newborn child. The British high commissioner, Dr. Christian Turner, traveled to Wamba on William and Kate’s behalf to witness the ceremony.
The message from William to the Samburu community says:
“Kwa niaba ya kijana wetu, George, Catherine na Mimi ningependa kuwashukuru nyote sana sana kwa kujitolea kwenu, ukarimu wenu na pia kwa zawadi zenu. [On behalf of our son George, Catherine and I would like to thank you all so very much for the extraordinary honour and generosity of your gifts.]
“I remember my time with you, the Samburu, with immense happiness and I could not be more grateful to you all for this kindness. It brings me great pride and joy to know that George’s ‘pension’ will be herded on a land that we love and care deeply for. We only hope that one day, he will be able to come and see them for himself.
“Please accept our immense and deep thanks on this special occasion.