At the risk of sounding as though I'm naïve 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
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