Some of us aren’t too proud to say we enjoyed it immensely
Joy at royal birth makes you question if we are that different from ancestors who worshiped kings
Visitors to Niagara Falls receive notice of the sex of the royal baby last night indicated by the blue light illuminating the water at Niagara Falls, New York. Photograph: Getty
Well, some of us aren’t too proud to say we enjoyed it immensely. If Kate wasn’t Too Posh To Push - she didn’t opt for the celebrity Caesarean - then we weren’t Too Posh To Watch.
What the heck, it wasn’t compulsory and in this life and in this media there’s always a shortage of happy drama.
From the moment the text came at 8.45am yesterday - “Kate’s in labour!”- until Michael Wolff of Vanity Fair explained on Newsnight that this story has the two things most loved by American women - “ a celebrity baby and the British royal family” - we were reassured, even in this country, that we were not alone on this earth in finding the latest royal birth fascinating, funny and , in fact, a weird fiesta.
If you find this attitude offensive then try thinking of the Windsors as Manchester United ...there, that feels better, doesn’t it?
Of course birth is the other great leveller. It was pretty painful to watch Kay Burley sweating it out in front of the Lindo wing of St Mary’s hospital, Paddington. Kay’s privacy was effectively breached from 1pm yesterday afternoon.
She laboured all day, delivering constantly in the sweltering heat. She stomped around talking to the general public. She got her producer to look up the new baby’s stars in the Evening Standard (the producer couldn’t find them; Kay said he wasn’t used to looking up his stars. Carole Middleton had told someone the baby was going to be a Leo. In fact he was born on the cusp).
Meanwhile, Sky’sbeautiful Rhiannon Mills was in Bucklebury in Berkshire, outside the Middletons’ house. Rhiannon was there all day. And the even more beautiful Becky Johnson was up at a maternity hospital in Liverpool, where Wayne and Colleen Rooney’s new baby, Anthony Klay, was born recently.
All Becky could find was shell-shocked young fathers advising William to do what his wife said.
It was a day for Sky News and for the tabloids, the media that makes the British royals a global soap opera and which, although no one says so, has saved it several times.
Much was made of the fact that the royal birth was going to be announced on an easel outside Buckingham Palace. Alastair Bruce, Sky’s royal commentator - as distinct from royal correspondent - got a good hour of air time out of that easel. Jeremy Thompson came out of retirement - or wherever it is he has been - to take over at Buckingham Palace. No one took over from Kay.
What is it about a royal birth that interests (some) people so much? It seems to send us feudal in some way, back to the reassurance of an unshakeable hierarchy. Back to the illusion that someone, somewhere, is living the perfect life. It is irrational, politically incorrect and probably pretty dumb.
But the people who criticise it are often superior in an unbecoming way - party poopers, in other words- who aren’t that worried about other social inequalities - although Joan Smith, an English republican, was terrific on Newsnight.