A ROYAL media feeding frenzy.
‘Does that mean we get a day off?’ No, no it doesn’t. Get back to work.
There were digital countdowns to the royal birth on a plethora of online media outlets. News channels covering nothing but the anticipated movements of Kate Middleton’s cervix for an entire day: ‘The Great Kate Wait’.
And then a desperate attempt to get a photograph of ‘our Kate’ and her [ever so slightly balding] duke, complete with bouncing royal bundle of joy.
The question on everyone’s lips? ‘Does that mean we get a day off?’ No, no it doesn’t. Get back to work.
In something reminiscent of THAT scene on Pride Rock in the Lion King, a child was born. This is no regular baby. This is a ROYAL baby. And what? I struggle to understand why the entire nation went completely ‘gaga’ over what is essentially an everyday miracle for countless other families across the world. Why are we so obsessed with the Royal Family? Why did Pizza Hut only offer the first twenty Charlottes through its doors a free meal if they could prove it? Why did anyone even think to start a petition to get the new royal baby to be named Beyoncé? The biggest question has to be this: Why do we all go bat-shit crazy over a royal baby?
[Almost] everybody loves a baby. I should admit that until recent history, I had a committed disdain for children of all shapes and sizes. Now I have a select few that not only do I tolerate, but who regularly star in my Snapchat stories and feature on some of my favourite Instagram collages. They’re small, chubby, and free from the cynicism of adults. But what’s so special about Charlotte Elizabeth Diana? She’s a princess, of course. Which means she might, might have some menial importance in the future. Prince Charles will probably keep the seat warm for a short while. Then there’s William and Harry. William takes the throne with his wifey Kate. And then there’s the two royal babies, George and Charlotte. Queen Charlotte looks improbable if I were the betting type…
Can we blame Disney for this royal fanfare? Disney told me that to wear a crown and a ball gown to Asda was perfectly normal. I haven’t tried it recently, but I’m pretty sure the security guards would tail me all around the store. It’s like the royal family are real-life Disney. You have the heroes. You have the villains. You have the naughty prince. You have all the dresses, the wealth, prestige, and affluence on the taxpayer’s budget.
They’re a fairytale suspended in reality, but beyond our reach. When they get married and when they have babies, we’re reminded that they’re just like us. We get married and have babies too. So we relate to those we will never understand, and we embrace our similarities and temporarily banish our differences. Charlotte Elizabeth Diana became like our best mate’s baby for a day.
Do the Royals unite a fragmented nation? There’s something about the monarchy that makes us all band together. Remember all the street parties, flags, painted union-jack faces and tea parties when William and Kate got married? That fairytale wedding. It might have been the first time you spoke to your neighbour since you moved in ten years ago. Your ethnic mix is irrelevant, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a second generation immigrant, everyone was celebrating together.
It’s the same with the Queen’s Speech at Christmas. Personally, I don’t care what she has to say. I dared to say this to my dad and he didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day; I should respect the Queen because her face is on all my hard-earned money, apparently. Yes, they represent a colourful history in our modern-day world, while static in a time that is so dynamic and unpredictable. The birth of a royal baby is a continuance of that royal narrative. Even if the narrator is Nicholas Witchell on BBC One.
So yes, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana is a baby. Was this baby worthy of the reams of coverage and the media hype? I’d say probably not. Every baby matters. Just as every mother has their own tale of conception through to delivery. Is it right to dedicate so much attention to a baby purely because of its lineage? Again, I’d say no. But it’s wrong to ignore the symbolism of a royal baby. That baby has a future we will never comprehend but one we'll observe through a camera lens. With that life of privilege comes extreme pressure. Who knows what George and Charlotte will be like in fifteen years? I’m hoping they’ve learned some lessons from Uncle Harry…
Follow Amirah Farag on Twitter @MissAmeerkat