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The Ups and Downs of 18th Birthday Celebrations

Aug 27, 2008
As well as giving 18th birthday gifts, it's traditional to mark the occasion with a special celebration. If you're stuck for ideas, you might be able to take some tips from the stars. As you'll see, everyone has a different way to celebrate though a fortune isn't always a guarantee that things will go well!

Harry Potter star Emma Watson celebrated her big day by staying up until 4.30am after a lavish lunch with fellow cast members. She may have had some wonderful 18th birthday gifts, but they would have paled in comparison to something else she got for the first time that day: access to the 10.5 million that she'd earned and had been held in a trust fund.

Charlotte Church also got her hands on her fortune when she came of age, which may have been some comfort when her 18th birthday gifts didn't include one thing she'd jokingly asked for: a million-pound ruby-studded bra. She celebrated with a quiet buffet for friends and family, but still made the headlines when photographed the worse for wear.

Not only were Prince Harry 18th birthday gifts kept low-profile, but he opted to forgo a lavish birthday celebration. Newspapers had talked of a wild booze and birds bash, but instead he spent the day on charity work, visiting hospital patients and homeless people as well as working on schemes to help young offenders and improve health standards in the third world.

That's pretty much the opposite approach from Maria Sharapova. The tennis superstar's 18th birthday gifts actually included a party sponsored by mobile phone firm Motorola, with the company's logo even appearing on bottles of water. Around 700 people turned up to the Manhattan shindig, which included a live performance by pop band Maroon 5.

Princess Beatrice had a ball literally. Having been born on 8/8/88, she opted for an 1888-themed party at Windsor Castle. Guests wore period dress, though it's not known how many Royals simply wore family hand-me-downs! Beatrice's 18th birthday gifts included a blue and gold ballgown from the exclusive Marchesa label.

Many parents will get out the cameras for their child's 18th, but in Kelly Osbourne's case, the cameras were already there: she was being filmed for the reality TV series The Osbournes. Father Ozzy took her to Vegas (where he was performing) and his present of a 1958 Chevvy was the most lavish of her 18th birthday gifts.

While footballer Wayne Rooney celebrated his big day by signing a five-year contract worth 25,000 a week, his girlfriend Colleen McCoughlin's 18th birthday party wasn't as glamorous as you might imagine. Years before her fairytale wedding, she held her celebrations at a local hotel with sandwiches and sausage rolls. It wasn't on the cheap though, with reports that 10,000 was put behind the bar. That could be could be why the event ended in scuffles!

It's not just celebs whose 18th birthday gifts include misery, however. Just look at Sara Ruscoe, a schoolgirl who made the mistake of putting up a poster inviting the entire sixth form to her house party. As Sara lived in a mansion, that might have seemed manageable. The problem was that a mischief-maker persuaded Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong to give a shoutout to partygoers, mentioning the event was at a mansion in the small Devon town of Bovey Tracey. That's all it took for 2,000 youths to gatecrash in riotous mood, causing at least 2,000 worth of damage.

She's not the only school pupil to get into trouble on her 18th though. Eleven sixth-formers from a Somerset boarding school run by Benedictine monks had to be suspended after a party got completely out of hand. Not only were school displays damaged and thrown in a skip, but the staff room carpet was smeared with dog mess.

To be fair, most people don't behave in such a manner on their birthday and it's perfectly possible to celebrate with a drink responsibly. Indeed, you can always mark the occasion with a 'grown-up' drink such as a vintage whisky.

American teenagers don't make such as big fuss about turning 18: probably because they can't legally drink until 21, meaning traditional 18th birthday gifts such as champagne are a no-no. Then again, some children more than make up for it with earlier birthdays, as viewers of MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen can confirm!

There is one group of people for whom 18th birthday gifts must be chosen with a little more thought. That's because they were born on February 29th and technically don't celebrate their big day until they've been around for 72 years. Then again, everyone's different, so there's no reason a leap-year birthday boy or girl shouldn't go paintballing or drive a Lamborghini with the rest of them!
About the Author
To explore our range of 18th Birthday Gifts further, please visit our website at http://www.gettingpersonal.co.uk.
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