Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their happy news.
Putting his blue blood to one side, we all know that there’s nothing extraordinary about HRH Prince George of Cambridge as a human being. Just like any other newborn, he needs little more than food, warmth and the love and affection of his doting parents.
The behaviour of the public and media that greeted him outside St Mary’s Hospital last week told a different story however. The first greedy flashbulbs heralded a lifetime of public scrutiny.
Of course every child brings fresh hope and new meaning to the lives of their parents, but Prince George’s arrival has understandably had a tangible effect on the wider world as the latest addition to the Royal Family - an important British commodity. In economic terms alone he’s estimated to bring in over £240 million in merchandise sales alone by the end of August. And Legoland at Windsor has even created a new scene depicting the young Prince with his parents at the gates of Buckingham Palace to enchant visitors to their inspired theme park.
Behind closed doors, as the euphoria of the first few days of motherhood begins to wane, Kate will probably be walking round in a fug, attending to her child’s every whimper, adjusting to managing on three hours uninterrupted sleep at a time …potentially contending with cracked nipples and a cracking headache, barking at her bewildered hubby.
Wills will begin to see Kate through a new lens – not only as his wife, but as the mother to their child. Surprisingly the best piece of advice offered to the Prince I’ve heard comes from that great philosopher… David Beckham, who posits that William’s quality as a gentleman will set him in good stead as a father – a notion I couldn’t agree with more. Good manners and kindness are basic qualities which should be instilled in all youngsters, as well as going a long way in keeping your relationship on track when you’re dealing with the physical and emotional demands of a new-born.
Now one week since the birth, Kate and Wills will be in the throes of their ‘baby-moon’ period of bonding and getting to know the new person in their midst. Bravo to the in-laws for providing their family home (a Georgian manor house) as a comfortable and familiar haven for this precious time.
In the Indian culture, the post birth confinement period, allows the mother the benefit of limited household duties and being cosseted by her extended family with special meals prepared and full body massage – enabling her to focus on her baby’s needs and recovering from the birth. Sounds great in theory – although 40 days cooped up at home might not do for everyone. My regular jaunt to the local coffee shop to gossip with my fellow NCT Mums provided a much need source of support for me once the family had left me to it and husband returned to work. The main premise is that Kate should be able to do as much or as little as she feels able to, and in her own time.
Of course, the Duchess of Cambridge hardly needs to worry about keeping on top of household chores or financial worries, and there will no doubt be a queue forming outside the Berkshire pile to wrestle for the coveted position of nanny to the third in line to the throne.
Putting these privileges aside, and the prospect of one day being crowned King George VII, I hope that Kate and Wills are allowed to enjoy getting to know their son without the intrusion of long lenses. The rest of the world will just have to wait – for now, he’s first and foremost, their baby boy.
Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort