22 July 2013

Welcome Royal Baby

For the last 32 weeks, the world has been building into a frenzy. Since it was first announced that Catherine The Duchess of Cambridge was expecting a child, there has been no end to the coverage and speculation. Actually, it started much sooner than that. In fact, before the Royal Wedding, I cautioned against getting too much royal baby anxiety too soon. (See Kate Middleton'sFirst Baby.) Her husband may have been born less than one year into his parents' marriage, but contemporary royal brides take longer. This baby is arriving more than two years after the wedding.

The last eight months have undoubtedly been filled with joy, anxiety and anticipation for the royal couple, but they have also been filled with irritation. First, the pregnancy was announced much earlier than usual because Kate had to be admitted to hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe and dangerous form of morning sickness. This hyperextended the length of the public stage of the pregnancy.

Almost immediately, the intrusions started. Some criticized her for being a lazy, whiner who overreacted to sickness. Then, she was chided for going on holiday. Then, there were paparazzi snaps of the baby bump in a bikini. Then, it was that she was staying too thin. Then, she was not carrying on enough royal duties.

On the other side, Kate's supporters gushed over every moment. Where she shopping? What was she buying? What was she wearing? 

Every aspect of the pregnancy has been dissected. When and where was the baby conceived? Midwife or doctor? Hospital or home delivery? Could it be twins? Boy or girl? Was she too posh to push?

Kate and William spent last week at her family's home in Bucklebury, away from the prying eyes of London, but even there, their peace was disturbed when a rescue vehicle was called to free a dog who had caught its head in the fence. Was the emergency crew coming to take Kate to hospital? Was it her dog that had caused the brouhaha? Perhaps is was just one more soul trying to get a peak into the circus that "The Daily Show" dubbed "Her Majesty's Secret Cervix."

Unfortunately, the chatter and intrusion is unlikely to peter out after the delivery. Every detail will be discussed: length, weight, horoscope, hair color, eye color, gender, name, godparents, pram name, university plan... (Read my post on what they will name the baby.)

I suspect that when Kate and William stand in front of those cameras outside of the Lindo Wing with their little bundle of joy, they will be smiling graciously, genuinely excited to share their joy for one public moment. On the inside, however, they may secretly be wishing they could use a phrase so famously uttered by The Princess Royal many years ago and tell us all to "naff off!"

The baby, a boy, was born at 4.24pm London time and weighed 8lb 6oz, according to the announcement from Kensington Palace at 8.30pm on Monday, July 22, 2013.

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