05 September 2011

2012: The Year of the Royal Baby

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria (R) and her husband Prince Daniel arrive to attend the religious wedding ceremony for Monaco's Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene at the Palace in Monaco July 2, 2011. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (MONACO - Tags: ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT) (MONACO ROYAL WEDDING)
If 2011 is the Year of the Royal Wedding, then 2012 is starting to look like the Year of the Royal Baby. Great news for royal watchers everywhere!

So far in 2011, we have witnessed the Royal Wedding of the Century (so far) with the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Catherine (Kate) Middleton, now known as Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We also saw Europe's oldest royal bachelor Prince Albert II of Monaco finally come off the market when he married his South African beauty Charlene Wittstock. Then, Prince William's cousin, Zara Phillips, decided to finally make it legal with her live-in love Mike Tindall. Most recently, the heir to the defunct German Imperial House, Prince Georg Friedrich, married his childhood chum, Princess Sophie of Isenburg. Just to name the four most prominent nuptials.

Now, it looks like we are gearing up for a season of royal babies galore. The trend really started earlier this year when Crown Princess Mary of Denmark delivered not one but two chubby little ones, with the uncommon names of Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. In recent weeks, her sister-in-law, French-born Princess Marie of Denmark has announced that she is expecting her second child in January. A little further north Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is expecting the next generation's heir to the throne in March. Meanwhile, Philomena Duchess of Vendome (wife of the Orleans claimant to the French throne) is awaiting her second child in January.

Each of these little ones will bring its own excitement. Will Marie have a daughter or give her husband Prince Joachim his fourth son? (He has two boys from his first marriage.) Will Victoria have a daughter and thereby set Sweden up to have two queens in a row?

Of course, a collective international breath is being held for THE announcement about impending royal children for the Cambridges. No one's abdomen is being more closely watched than Catherine. If she foregoes wine at a party, as she is said to have done at Zara's pre-wedding gala, the papers and blogs are full of speculation. The pressure of history is upon her, British heirs are usually born quickly after the wedding. But, more contemporary royal brides tend to wait a little longer before jumping into mommy mode and a few have struggled with fertility issues, as I pointed out in my blog post, Kate Middleton's First Baby.

So, my advice to you anxious baby bump watchers is to chill out. Let Kate enjoy being a newlywed. Let her relax. She'll let us know as soon as we need to know. In the meantime, there are plenty of other royal babies to enjoy!

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