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The Royal Birth: a 21st century baby

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The Royal Birth: a 21st century baby


Kate and William proved to be a photographers delight in the build up to the birth of their child often on official visits surrounded by children. Now for the reality and the next stage. As with every generation the world’s media will be riveted on the UK’s new little blue blood. But what will change from previous royal births, will anything differentiate the Duke and Duchess as parents?

Historian Anna Whitelock said: “William will only be the sort of second generation of royal fathers to actually be at the birth. Prince Charles was there at the birth of William and Harry, but before that the royal father would be elsewhere. Prince Phillip was playing squash when Prince Charles was born, so it wasn’t something that the fathers got involved with.”

‘But I think we’ve seen already that Kate and William are very much a modern couple and, in a way, you know, their preparations for the birth will be similar to other such couples. William’s going to have a couple of weeks paternity leave, Kate’s going to be, you know, I think going to be a much more hands-on mother than mothers of the past, when they would be handed over to nurses,” opined Whitelock.

Ah, what changes in the space of one generation – there was no talk of paternity leave when William and his brother were born. Does this mean dad’s royal duties will now include getting up during the night to mix the formula and deal with nappies?

Just as Diana and Charles were doted on by the public William and Kate are adored. But Diana was a young mum not yet 21 when she had William. Kate is 31.

“Her expectations and her, sort of, you know, knowledge if you like, experience, of children and, you know, young children growing up, has been very much a normal one, you know, sort of growing up, going to nursery being in a normal domestic setting. So, you know, it’s going to be quite a culture shock I think, perhaps for, for Kate as a mother, as a royal mother wanting to protect her child but also fulfill duty; I think there’s going to be some tensions there,” added Whitelock.

Motherhood and duty and not to forget the third in line to the crown. So what does the birth mean to the monarchy to the Royal Family themselves. Should we watch for changes?

“Obviously, this is going to be the new age of monarchy. I mean, this young child may not even inherit the throne until the 22nd century. In fact, the great majority of us won’t see this baby actually become monarch, and we’re looking at quite far into the future. However, this baby – and, you know, this young royal couple – will, undoubtedly, be the focus of media attention, you know; they are this kind of celebrity couple; they are the, sort of, glamorous face of the British monarchy: their image is going to be hugely exported around the world,” concluded Anna Whitelock.

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