independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

So a baby has been born...

SO a baby has been born. A future King no less. And the world is agog! I would like to say that I am immune to this stuff but it wouldn't be right for me to deny my absolute fascination for the whole thing.

For the last two days, I have had Sky News on a loop. I know every nook and cranny of the mahogany doors that front the Lindo Wing in London's St. Mary's Hospital along with every nook and cranny of Sky correspondent Kay Burley's face as she endeavoured to fill extensive airtime with commentary and reaction.

I did find the proposed announcement of the news via easel postings and town criers just a tad over-indulgent of archaic rituals but was relieved to see the couple give the nod to the news being released via normal email. In fairness to William and Kate, they are genuinely endeavouring to follow the routines of life with a normalcy much like the rest of us, security and circumstances permitting. However, what touched me was their foresight in keeping the news of the birth to themselves for a little while. They say a royal's privacy is only ever guaranteed in the womb, well, hats off to the couple for affording their son just that little bit extra.

It was a precious oasis of time short-lived but I imagine hugely cherished. Because as we all witnessed, whether we wanted to or not, when that baby emerged in his mother's arms on those over-analysed hospital steps to the full glare of the world media, that little boy became the most photographed and famous baby in the world. His privacy is his no longer, his mother's womb's a sanctuary no more and he comes with a future that was never his to own.

And I find that, amidst all the joy, a little sad. I looked at Kate, a mother now, beautiful after the birth but fragile and vulnerable too – much like any new mum. But unlike any other new mother she will not lock eyes with her husband over her gurgling child and wonder about his future. She knows what it will be already. It has been predestined, predetermined and preordained.

Kate may have been prepared for becoming a royal but no one gets to be prepared for becoming a parent. Feelings erupt that you never knew you owned, doing the best for your child becomes your only real job and giving your child choices becomes a dogged remit. Yet when it comes to choices, for all their privileges, the Cambridges cannot provide. Instead, they can only make their son's lack of choice easier. For all its riches, royalty comes at a price. But the couple no doubt will pay it and do it well because much like the rest of us who have children, I believe William and Kate are far prouder at becoming parents to a bouncing baby than giving birth to a future king."

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