Baby Love

BY MANDY BALDWIN

There were hints that there may be a new baby on the way, during the triumphant tour of Germany – Kate, usually the soul of good manners, only pretended to sip from a huge stein of beer. And now we know: there will be a Number Three to add to Gorgeous George, and adorable little Charlotte, who is a dead-ringer for her Great Grandma.

The new baby will arrive in the spring-time, as new and perfect as the season.

Not exactly oozing romance – but honestly acknowledging that Wills is a football freak – Channel 4 tweeted ‘He’s totally timed this to get 2 weeks paternity during the World Cup. Will is an ABSOLUTE LAD.’ Well, yes, granted  – the chances of the future King tearing himself away from the Beautiful Game completely at that time is remote – but still, isn’t it lovely?

And it’s something unexpected, given that Kate suffers badly in early pregnancy, from the kind of sickness which usually necessitates being hospitalised.  What a national treasure she is turning out to be. In fact, the pair of them are something of a beacon at the moment – the love between the couple, and of the couple for their adorable children, is practically tangible, and the prospect of a new Prince or Princess was a delightful piece of news to appear, on a morning of gloom dominated by a fat Korean freak with an insane haircut, trying to trigger nuclear war.

Probably they would have liked to keep the secret a little longer, but there is something rather special about the announcement coming as it does only four days after the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, a bright star who made the world fall in love with Princesses all over again.  She is the hardest of all acts to follow, and yet – Wills and Kate are managing it, a couple for their time, as she was a woman of hers.

Royalty is about continuity – about plugging away at missions of hope, despite an often unkind public gaze, bringing a touch of magic to the mundane, taking the flak for a role not chosen but shouldered usually with grace, all the time carrying that thread of national identity back into the past.  But a new little Royal carries that heritage into the future.  We watch them grow, treading carefully the line between possession and destruction, their wealth the price paid for them being the helpless targets of every miserable malcontent, critical dullard, and hateful fanatic.

We saw Wills as a baby, trying to eat daffodils and laughing at the camera – we now see him as a father, and deputy to our head of state.  We see them wooing the unwoo-able, so that a German journalist described little Prince George as ‘Britain’s secret weapon.’  But really it’s no secret. They are all our children; they are our ambassadors, the best we have, the best anyone has, soft power at it’s finest.

There will be resentment among the kind of odd-ball who favours tearing down people along with statues, but we’re all used to this: they’d probably prefer that Buckingham Palace was used to house returning jihadis.  And who cares, anyway? The miserable, the hateful, and the joyless, are like dandruff or the common cold – always there, and best ignored in the interests of happiness. And their dreary moaning will be more than matched by Royal Baby Fever.

As Brexit negotiations drag on, and dull, beige people whose vast pensions are at risk try to do us down and scare us into remaining a province of history’s most boring despotism, how wonderful that hope – and British royal babies – spring eternal.

And if it’s an added bonus that this new little one, like George and Charlotte, will be firmly ‘gendered’ as either a Prince or Princess – thus rapping the lunatic fringe on the knuckles as the conglomeration of idiots they are – then it’s all good.

We can rely on the Royals to bring a touch of colour to an increasingly grey world. All we need now is for a certain ex-soldier to make an honest woman of a certain ex-actress.

How about it, Harry?

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