The international media is buzzing about the imminent arrival of Britain’s newest royal baby, the son or daughter of Prince William and Princess Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. A simple Google search turns up countless pages of speculation about the baby’s sex, due date, name, and nursery decorations. Even before birth, this child is among the most famous celebrities in the world. Such treatment is not particularly out of the ordinary for the offspring of the rich and famous. Consider, for example, the similar attention given to the recent pregnancies of Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie, or Katie Holmes. But unlike those children, the baby about to make its way into Will and Kate’s family is destined to sit on an actual throne. Thanks to a recent act of parliament, that will be the case regardless of whether the child is a boy or girl, since it will be the first born.
Even though it is a mostly symbolic position at this point, the opportunity to be a member of British royalty still carries with it a pedigree that cannot be matched by any other family on earth, at least as far as the tabloids are concerned. For young Edward, Jane, George, or Matilda (I’m pulling for that last one if it’s a girl), a normal life is completely impossible. He or she will have every moment in public documented a thousand times over, from the christening at St. George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle, to the first day of school at Eton, to games of polo at Martha’s Vineyard and canoodling with equally posh members of the opposite sex in the Swiss Alps.
Speculation is now mounting that Kate has actually passed her due date, and I am not surprised. As I remarked to the cashier at the local Barnes & Noble cafe this past weekend, if I were the royal baby, I would want to stay tucked away from the world as long as possible, knowing that these were the last few private, undictated moments I was every likely to have. Savor your final moments as the paprazzi’s favorite celebrity offspring, Suri Cruise. Within a few days, it will be time for Charles, or Margaret, or Stephen, or maybe even Matilda.