BETSY HART: William, Kate and the newest royal
I love learning about the impending royal birth. As in the first baby of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, who is due in July.
Seriously. I’m intrigued by all the preparations, curious about everything from nannies to nurseries — to the fact that her birthing suite in the hospital reportedly has a wine list.
Now that’s service.
And I can’t get enough of seeing the dignified “Kate” in her oh-so-lovely and fashionable maternity clothes.
Along the way, of course, I’ve observed some differences between the ways these royals are welcoming their new baby and how a little one so often enters the celebrity world on this side of the pond.
I prefer William and Kate’s ways of doing things because (to mention a few reasons):
1. They are married. To each other. What a concept. A mom, and a dad, and they are living as husband and wife. They seem to be quite fond of each other, and that’s lovely. But even more important is the fact that they are married! And they will have been for a good little while before welcoming the baby.
2. Kate didn’t wait until her early 40s to try to get pregnant for the first time, as if she is somehow entitled to ignore the laws of simple female fertility. I know, I know — deliberately waiting to have an heir wouldn’t happen in the British royal family in any event. But she hardly seems put out by the fact that motherhood is a high calling, and if one is going to be a mom, it’s best to jump in when the science is all on a woman’s side.
3. This baby will not have a ridiculous, trendy, silly name like, say, “North West.” This alone is cause for celebration. Personally, I’m hoping for the name “Charlotte” if it’s a girl.
4. Prince William is reportedly taking off two weeks — and only two weeks — from work as a search-and-rescue pilot to be with the baby before getting back onto his helicopter. A search-and-rescue pilot? That’s a cool job. Dare I say “manly”? And I find that making clear he’s going to hustle back is even more so.
5. Unlike so many celebrities who, when having babies, act like no one in the history of the world has ever done the same thing — WOW, A BAAAABYYYYY, OMG!!!! — William and Kate, in a sense, are doing just the opposite. Their infant will be one in a very long line of privileged babies born into the royal family. Yes, there will be bottles of champagne popping and news coverage of the birth, and on it goes.
But much of the excitement isn’t because this is such a new thing, but because this baby is part of such an old thing. This little one is a player in something much bigger than just himself or herself; he or she is part of tradition, community, family, country. Honoring that tradition will be part of life from the get-go, no matter how much pampering is involved. Whatever you think of the royal family, the baby’s little roots will go deep.
Actually, I believe that is always true when a baby is born. We just too often pretend otherwise. William and Kate are making a little more manifest what is the fact for the rest of us: Whether prince or pauper, royal or otherwise, welcoming a new baby is great cause for celebration. It’s also a time to note that we are so much better off if we know from the beginning that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves — that it is not all about “me.”
Unfortunately, that’s a far cry from how many of us, celebrity or not, see a new baby or ourselves. So when we do get to witness such sensibilities, it’s a reason to raise a glass.
So cheers to you, William and Kate, and to your new baby, too. Carry on.
Contact Betsy Hart at www.betsysblog.com