Monday, July 29, 2013

Prince George, it's never too early to become the poster child for something

Prince George! Congratulations on your parents giving you a name! What a relief to those new parents waiting so they could name their own babies after you! Your aden + anais swaddle blankets sold out before you got home. Look at you already setting an example without realizing it. Good boy!

Clearly we need to harness this power! Think of the possibilities! Like your mother making it okay for new mothers to not instantly lose baby weight before leaving hospital, you are already the poster child for how not to strap your newborn into a car seat in front of the world media. Look at the photos, even YOU didn't look happy about it. Now newborns everywhere will know that they don't have to settle for anything less than complete safety.

Then there's food. You alone influence whether newborn babies breastfeed or not. If it is OK for you it is OK for other newborns. However, had you decided breastfeeding wasn't for you, that would have been OK too. In time, you can influence when new parents should start solid foods, eventually wean their babies and eat their vegetables. You're royal, forget being a picky eater. It. Just. Isn't. Done.

Can we talk about circumcision? Apparently your grandfather, Prince Charles was but your father wasn't. Of course this is a personal decision which you, unfortunately, have absolutely no control over. Suffice to say all of the doctors and rabbis poised with their Mogen clamps await your wails for the go-ahead.

What are you waiting for? Wake up Georgie, you can't stay in swaddle blankets forever! Like your mother's clothing, there are people out there, who can't dress their babies or potty train them. They desperately need your guidance!

Being a week old is no excuse. Only YOU can lead the way. Whether you like it or not.

© 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.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Forgive us Baby Cambridge, we just can't help ourselves

Dear Baby Cambridge,

Congratulations on your birth! We've been waiting a long time for you. In fact, Had you known the amount of hysterical interest and speculation following every stage of your existence, you might have chosen to stay in longer. And it would have been completely understandable, if not nerve wracking for the rest of the world.

But now that you're out in the world, there's no going back! Yay for us and your parents, you're too young to have second thoughts. Don't worry, that will come in time when the full weight of our suffocating interest dawns on you. Your parents may protect you physically and emotionally, but cannot prevent the inevitable crushing reality dawning on you.

See, here's the thing. Everyone loves babies. Royal babies possibly even more so because we don't have to take care of you. Like grandparents, we have the best of both worlds. We can take pride in you, and spoil you with attention, but at the end of the day we can close the book and turn off the TV, until the next time you do something the media deems adorable. Even if it is just drooling.

Like your mother, you can do no wrong. For now. You will be the perfect baby and no matter what your level of attractiveness, you will be deemed the most beautiful child in the world. You will be put on a very high pedestal which may seem fun at first, especially as it will get wobbly. Your parents have their work cut out keeping you grounded in reality. They have a hard enough time doing this for themselves, so this will be tough.

Then there's us, the public, with our insatiable interest, even pre-conception we were discussing you and while in utero we speculated on every single aspect of your existence, even betting on things like your name, weight and how you would be born. As we speak, there are people who bet on you being born vaginally congratulating themselves! How many others can say the same?

The media, at our behest, will dig for any detail. Unfortunately, nothing is off limits. We will know if you have been circumcised and a biography of the person who does so. No use hiding when you have your first solids, when you are weaned from the breast, and when you begin potty training. The media will find out, or make it up along the way. Books and magazine articles will be written about it, not to mention all of the royal experts weighing in! Forget baby memory books, the stages of your development will be in the public domain for you to be embarrassed about later.

All of that will come in time though. But today you took the first step towards that on the Lindo wing steps in your mother's arms. Waving, already a royal pro, you were completely oblivious to the hoopla, gun salutes, and people impatiently refreshing twitter feeds while waiting for you to appear. Enjoy your oblivion while it lasts. As you sleep we are already intruding on 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.

Monday, July 22, 2013

What will Baby Boy Cambridge be called?

Now that William and Catherine have welcomed their son into the world, the question on many royal watcher's minds is what will his name be. Over the last several months there has been a great deal of speculation on names for Baby Cambridge. Now that we've eliminated the female names, it narrows down the list to ones for boys. Some of the names people are placing bets on include James, Michael, George, and Philip. Baby Boy Cambridge is destined to be a future monarch, therefore he requires a regal sounding name to go with that pedigree. Some of these names have been discounted mainly because the royal family currently has a family member with that name and/or it is a Middleton name. But when it comes to repeating names, let's not forget that the royal family has had more than one member of the family share a name at the same time.

Personally, while I have preferences, I will not discount any names. Regardless of their choice, any name William and Kate choose is likely to start a trend. In fact, there are reportedly new mothers holding off on naming their own newborn until they find out the royal name. Whatever William and Kate choose, someone will be unhappy with it. As a matter of fact, I guarantee it will not meet with universal approval. Let's take a look at some of the name contenders and why or why not they might be chosen:


People have discounted this name because it is the name of Kate's brother. You can practically feel the sneering at the very idea that Kate and William might be tribute to a Middleton. How un-regal is THAT? Another reason for discounting the name is because two current family members hold it as a first name: James Ogilvy, son of Princess Alexandra and James, Viscount Severn, son of Prince Edward. Not to mention all of the kings who bore the name too. Forget that though, it is seen as a Middleton name.


Michael falls under the same category as James , being seen as a Middleton name because of Kate's father (insert more sneering here). Some feel it is not royal enough - despite a current member of the royal family holding it - Prince Michael of Kent. Choosing this name would be good because it would be unique. No British king has used Michael as a regnal name.


Currently the name of the baby's great-grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, it would be a nice tribute to the 92 year old consort of the Queen. As well, like Michael, no British king has used Philip as a regnal name.


I'll admit it. I've never liked this name and I hope that they don't choose it for their son. While it does have a Cambridge association, it is too old-fashioned sounding. As with any name, should William and Catherine choose George, it could start a revival, however some things should be left in the past, and the name George is one of them. I believe at present there is one member of the family with the name George, The Earl of St. Andrews - son of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. In the past several members of the royal family have shared the name George. Upon the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936, Prince Albert, Duke of York, chosen the name King George VI, despite having a younger brother with the same name, Prince George, Duke of Kent, as well as a nephew, George, Viscount Lascelles, son of his sister Princess Mary.


Three members of the royal family currently have Edward as a first name. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, his grandson, Edward, Baron Downpatrick and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Eight kings have used it as a regnal name. However, I think this name is a long shot.


On the list but unlikely because it has a tragic history within the royal and Spencer families. One of the Queen's uncles, Prince John died as a teenager. Her great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra's youngest son, John, died shortly after he was born. And Baby Cambridge's grandmother, the late Diana Princess of Wales, had an older brother, also named John, who died within hours of his birth.


Currently used by Princess Margaret's son, David Linley, as well as being one of Prince Harry's middle names, David might be a long shot given its complex history within the royal family. David was the name King Edward VIII was known by to his friends and family. Because of the abdication crisis, using David as a first name for a future monarch might make that unlikely.


This name brings up associations with Queen Victoria's beloved consort, Prince Albert. She was insistent on her male descendants bearing the name Albert. However, although King Edward VII and King George VI's birth names were Albert, neither chose it as a regnal name. Prince Harry has it amongst his given names.


It is entirely possible that William and Catherine could choose to pay tribute to Prince Charles but I think they would reserve it for a middle name as opposed to a first name. Like George it sounds old fashioned to me. Other family members known by Charles include David Linley's son and Baby Cambridge's maternal great-uncle is Charles Spencer. Like David and Albert, Prince Harry has Charles amongst his given names too.


The name of the Baby Cambridge's paternal uncle as well as eight previous kings, should William and Catherine name their son Henry, he might eventually ascend the throne as King Henry IX. The first British King to be ninth under any name.


Like Michael and Philip, Alexander would be another unique name choice for a future British king. It isn't a particularly common name amongst the royal family, but it does have a royal history. Princess Beatrice named her first son Prince Alexander of Battenberg, Queen Mary had a brother, Prince Alexander of Teck, Prince George, Duke of Kent had it amongst his given names as does Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and it was also the name of Princess Patricia of Connaught's son, Alexander Ramsay of Mar. A current member of the royal family to hold the name Alexander is Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester's son the Earl of Ulster.

William and Catherine seem like couple who will choose something regal and traditional yet modern at the same time. Out of all of the names, my bets are on James and Philip, but I also like the sound of Prince Alexander of Cambridge too.

© 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.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Breathe deeply, the royal baby insanity is almost over

Sometimes the hoopla surrounding the birth of the royal baby just makes my blood boil. And yet I cannot look away from it, or ignore it despite the increasing ridiculousness of the coverage.

Case in point, Wikipedia has created a page for Baby Cambridge, even though he/she is not even born. Supposedly this is the first time a page has been created for an unborn child. Since William and Catherine are likely to have more than one child, I'm presuming Wikipedia will be coming out with pages before they're even conceived, such is the intense interest?

Kate is already being touted as the 'perfect mother'.  Hate to say this but there is no such thing. Have we really reached the point where any minor deviation from royal parenting - hugging, spending quality time with your child - is seen as innovative? Let's see a sleep deprived Kate manage a newborn and a toddler with a temper tantrum -  in public - before labeling her a 'perfect mother' shall we?

Then there's lighting up Canadian tourist attractions like Niagara falls and CN tower blue or pink to celebrate the royal birth.  Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with these things, but it just adds to the atmosphere of overkill rampant with everything related to the arrival of Baby Cambridge. Whatever happened to sending a card or some flowers? Isn't a 41-gun salute and pealing church bells across the land enough? True, it is nothing new to color monuments to mark royal births. When Prince Charles was born in 1948 the fountains in Trafalgar Square in London were lit up blue for a boy. But these are the type of tributes William and Kate and their baby will, in time, take for granted. Naming a lake or school after their baby? Old hat which only gets older. Why not inundate them with cards, gifts and unwelcome visits like every other parent? A true rite of passage for new parents everywhere.

Today, the Daily Mail published a layout of the floor of the Lindo wing where Kate will give birth, including where the nearest stairwell is. Tell me, do we really need to know this information? How much more invasive can we get? Earlier in the pregnancy, with all that happened with the death of the nurse, Jacinta Saldanha after two Australian DJs called the hospital pretending to be the Queen, wasn't a line in the sand established?

Not to mention just plain respect and decorum. Have we completely lost sight of that?

Sometimes I wonder.

© 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.