I don’t usually do royals. I was at a wedding dress fitting the day after the big day last year (was it last year? whenever) and was the only person there who couldn’t join in comparing THAT dress with all the others. When the Queen visited our local park I commented on the amount of litter the royalist fans left behind and the inconvenience of having to park our car somewhere else for three days rather than how nice it was to see her.
So clearly I couldn’t really give a stuff about the latest royal news. Except that I feel like I ought to comment because the country’s clearly gone insane.
She’s less than 12 weeks gone and is feeling very ill. As if it isn’t bad enough that since before she got married people have apparently been speculating on the state of her ovaries (by people I really mean Mail readers and the tabloid press) she now has to endure the indignity of having to fight her way through hordes of international press reporters outside the hospital. And huge numbers of people have been commenting on why they feel she shouldn’t have announced it yet. All that as well as having dreadful morning sickness nastiness – leave her alone, for chrissakes.
It’s none of your f*$%ing business people! Of course she’s had to announce it early, look at what she’d have had to endure if she hadn’t. Paps following her around, trying to catch a glimpse of her looking a bit peaky and getting shots of her stomach at less than flattering angles. Within a few hours of the announcement people were already discussing potential names.
So many people see Kate as a role model for girls despite her doing very little and saying even less. Yet here’s an opportunity for her to turn around and start to offer a really positive modern role model for women, and especially mothers. For all her faults, it was pretty obvious even to us anti-royal types that Diana adored her sons and set a precedent for royal motherhood that blew away some of the dust surrounding the Windsors. This has been a good thing even if it clearly led to the revival of the royal family in the public eye.
They didn’t want to announce yet because most people don’t in the first 12 weeks – it’s when things go wrong. And yet if something does go wrong, could we actually have a conversation about that? When Sophie, Duchess of where ever it is, you know Edward’s missus, miscarried, the press went very quiet indeed. While I see the absolute need to respect their privacy, we can still discuss this without bothering them. One in four women miscarry yet no one talks about it.
When it comes to the royal family feminism doesn’t take so much of a step backwards than a giant leap.