Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Royal Baby is coming! The Royal Baby is coming! Have we completely lost our mnds?

As we and get closer to the due date for the royal baby's arrival you would think that we are the ones on the verge of giving birth. So far, we've covered choosing names, hospitals to give birth, natural versus cesarean, pain relief techniques and what the nursery will look like. Some have even started speculating on whether Kate will breastfeed and how Baby Cambridge will be educated. It would be an understatement to say that people are looking forward to this birth. It has become the royal event of 2013 and people will wring every last drop of interest out of the pregnancy until the baby finally arrives.

We may not know the exact due date but it hasn't stopped people from predicting. Some even going so far as to say Kate has mislead us and the baby may, in fact, arrive 10 days earlier than expected. Of grave concern is whether the baby be born on July 1st. Just another day in the calendar? No! It just so happens to be the birth date of Baby Cambridge's iconic dead grandmother, Diana, Princess of Wales. God forbid he or she should be born on such a sacred day! Think of the specter of Diana, hovering over the child, the burden it will face, especially if it is a girl! The constant reminders because we will not let this child forget it! Should the baby have the luck/misfortune (depends on who you ask) to be born on July 1st, I highly doubt Baby Cambridge will think about Diana as he/she tears his/her birthday gifts apart in the years to come. Can we say the same?

With the amount of pressure Kate is under, I wouldn't be surprised if she chose to be induced like Diana, who did so because she couldn't handle the pressure she was under. Some think Kate is made of stronger stuff, but it is easy to say so when we are not the ones being minutely scrutinized. Then again, even if she is induced, does it really matter? Or would it be a crack in the perfect veneer we've created around Kate?

I for one do not envy Kate. She may be slavishly adored for 'never putting a foot wrong', and have a nice view from the pedestal we've placed her on, but when she goes into labor the pressure will be even greater, and if she has a long labor it will be agonizing for more reasons than one. Just knowing that with every contraction, the worlds media is waiting outside the hospital for her to deliver not just any royal baby, but the royal baby.

This birth will be anything but a private, intimate moment for William and Kate. We will make sure of it.

© Marilyn Braun 2013

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Be afraid of the royal baby, be very afraid

Babies. Cute. Some not so cute. Cuddly. Sleeping peacefully occasionally. What harm could they possibly do?

If you're Baby Cambridge. Plenty.

Not yet born and he/she has already taken control. There is no going back.

Is it any coincidence that #royalbaby is the most re-tweeted hash tag of all time? Cup your ear to Catherine's stomach and before you get arrested you'll hear a diabolical in-utero gurgle. Or indigestion.

For the last eight months, in utero, he/she has been devising a plan for global domination. Utilizing 'royal experts' to make generalizations about his/her name, education, future. To build interest, lest we forget about his/her pending arrival.

Only Baby Cambridge knows the truth. And upon birth, all will be revealed.

Sure the pregnancy speculation was fun, intrusive, harmless, invasive. Little did we know the reality of the juggernaut of influence this child will be. The economy, fashion trends, names. This is just the beginning.

Now royal watchers and reporters are on standby, phones fully charged, ring tones on the loudest setting. Anxiously awaiting Baby Cambridge. On the day royal baby is born, legitimate news stories will be obliterated. Anyone who has the power to trend on social media while in the birth canal and make complete strangers with no vested interest rejoice is dangerous indeed.

All part of the plan to have us wrapped around his/her finger. Resistance is futile and there is no escape. One way or another, you will know he/she has arrived. Whether you want to or not.

When Catherine's labor begins, run for cover if you haven't already.

© Marilyn Braun 2013

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Royal Baby Facts

In honor of the upcoming birth of William and Catherine's first child, some British royal baby facts:

  • When William and Catherine's baby is born, he/she will be the first royal baby to bear and use the style and title HRH Prince/Princess since Princess Eugenie's birth in 1990.

  • In the unlikely event William and Catherine's baby is born in a royal palace, he/she will be the first royal baby since 1964 to do so. The last baby to be born in a royal palace was Lady Sarah Chatto, daughter of Princess Margaret, who was born at Kensington Palace on May 1, 1964. Prior to her birth Prince Edward was born at Buckingham Palace on March 10, 1964.

  • A royal baby boom occurred in 1964 when four royal ladies were pregnant at the same time. Princess Alexandra was pregnant with her son James Ogilvy, the Queen with Prince Edward, the Duchess of Kent with Lady Helen Taylor and Princess Margaret with Lady Sarah Chatto.

  • Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips, was the first grandchild of a sovereign to be born a commoner in more than 500 years. He and his sister, Zara, are the Queen's only untitled grandchildren.

  • Peter Phillips is the first grandson of a British sovereign to be born in hospital.

  • Prince William is the first direct heir to the throne to be born in hospital

  • After attending the birth of his first child, Peter in 1977, Mark Phillips remarked: "It is not every ones cup of tea". After the birth of his daughter Zara in 1981 he commented: "Yes, I was present at the birth but I wouldn't recommend it to other fathers."

  • Contrary to some reports, should Prince William attend the birth of his child, he will not be the first royal father to do so. Other fathers who have attended the birth of their children include Prince Albert, (Consort of Queen Victoria), Prince Albert Edward attended the birth of his first son Prince Albert Victor, Prince George, Duke of Kent attended the birth of his son Prince Edward (the present Duke), as well as Mark Philips, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles and Prince Edward.

  • Amongst the baby gifts Charles and Diana received for Prince William was a book of nursery rhymes, containing fourteen well-known characters, entirely in lace. The book was made by a team of lace makers at Beer in Devon and took 10,000 man-hours to create.  

  • Queen Victoria was insistent on being present at the births of her grandchildren

  • Queen Victoria disliked and disapproved of breastfeeding. When she discovered her daughter Princess Alice did so, she had one of the cows at the Royal Dairy named 'Alice'.

  • In 1948, one of the cakes for Prince Charles' christening was made by the students of the National Bakery School. It weighed 130lbs and was 36 inches high.

  • Lord Nicholas Windsor, third child of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, was the first royal baby to be born in hospital. He was born at University College Hospital on July 25, 1970.

  • Princess Beatrice's date of birth 8/8/88 is considered to be extremely lucky in the Chinese calendar.

  • Since the 1970s, it has become the norm for royal babies to be born in hospital. Previous royal babies have been born in more illustrious surroundings. To name a few: Balmoral Castle, the Sandringham Estate, Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Marlborough House, Kensington Palace, Clarence House and St. James's Palace. 

  • Princess Eugenie of York, daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, was the first royal baby to have a public christening. This occurred during morning service at St. Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, in December 1990.

  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born on a dining room table

  • Princess Alexandra, first cousin of the Queen was born on Christmas day in 1936, the year of the abdication crisis. Her grandmother Queen Mary remarked that her birth was 'The nicest thing to have happened this year.'

  • Princess Alexandra's son, James Ogilvy was born on February 29th, 1964.

  • In 1960, Prince Andrew was the first royal baby born to a reigning British sovereign since Queen Victoria gave birth to Princess Beatrice in 1857.

  • In 1930, Princess Margaret was the first royal baby - so close in the line of succession - to be born in Scotland since Charles I in 1600. At the time of her birth she was 4th in line to the throne. Between Charles I and Princess Margaret other royal babies born in Scotland include Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain in 1887 and her brother Prince Maurice in 1891, both born at Balmoral Castle. However they were not as close in line as Princess Margaret!

  • When Princess Margaret was born in 1930, her birth registration was delayed so that her birth certificate would not be numbered 13.

  • When Baby Cambridge is born, it will mark the second time in history where 3 direct heirs to the throne have been born while the sovereign is alive. The first time occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria when her son, The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and grandson, the Duke of York (later King George V) marked the birth of the future King Edward VIII in 1894.

© Marilyn Braun 2013

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Royal Privacy - It Should Become A Thing

At the risk of sounding as though I'm na├»ve or do not comprehend the global media event the upcoming royal birth will become, I think there comes a point where we should give William and Catherine room to breathe and celebrate the birth of their baby. In complete private.

Royal privacy is a very sticky topic, it has come up many times before and the definition changes depending on who you ask. In this instance, if you were to ask William and Catherine, they would insist that, like the conception, the birth of their child is a private, intimate matter. Whereas the rest of the world would completely ignore the concept of royal privacy over wall-to-wall coverage of the birth of a future monarch. Regardless of just how intrusive that coverage will become.  At times I can't help but wonder just how far the media would wander into the delivery room if the door was left ajar. My guess is we would see more than necessary. Public backlash be damned.

The coverage for the birth should be treated differently from the coverage of the royal wedding. It should be, but it won't. The royal wedding, while significant in some ways, was filled with all kinds of mundane details that were harmless to speculate on. Not so with childbirth. As anyone who has given birth knows, it is an incredibly intimate moment. One where the last thing you would want is a billion eyes watching your every breath and contraction. But yet that is exactly what the pending coverage is about to do. And we only have ourselves to blame for creating the demand for it.

If I were William and Kate I would revert back to the days where royal babies were born within the confines of the palace. Private, protected, no need to face the media when you least feel like it. Most people don't think it will happen. After all, it has become the norm for royal babies to be born in hospital, not to mention meeting our expectations with the obligatory photograph when they depart. William and Kate may prefer to do things differently, and I hope they do because it is the only way for them to get privacy and enjoy the moment when they become parents. Personally, I would love it if William and Kate had their baby and left hospital before anyone knew they'd entered it. We wouldn't be any the wiser until an announcement is made. Start a new tradition for keeping a royal birth private, whether we like it or not.

It would only serve us right for insisting upon it being otherwise. And it would be no less than we deserve.

© Marilyn Braun 2013

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.