As I drove my soccer mom minivan into work on Monday morning, news of the impending arrival of the "Royal Baby" came over the CBC Radio airwaves. Not long after, an email from a local PR company arrived in my work inbox about how "Canadians are in a tizzy over the birth of the royal baby" and the only way to celebrate would be with a certain brand of Champagne, which I will joyfully not mention here. Buy an ad and keep journalists employed already. It's amazing how many people still want free ink in newspapers despite all the evidence that suggests we're about to go extinct.
Yet, that vaunted "news clipping" PR people so desperately seek remains such a valuable commodity to show their clients. Ironic, indeed.
I digress. Back to dull-as-dishwater Kate and the birth of her first child with balding Prince William. I can't say I spend much time thinking about Kate (sorry, but I don't know her official title and you can probably guess why) and her hubby William. I certainly wouldn't say I'm in anything close to a tizzy over the birth. What I am is indifferent. But before you label me an anti-monarchist (go ahead, though, if you must because I am - I grew up in Quebec with Scottish immigrants for parents. 'Nuff said), let me say how glad I am that Kate is a little on the bland side. Who needs another toesucking Fergie or off-kilter, may-she-rest-in-peace Diana, who was off-kilter because of how her Royal inlaws treated her.
Being on the boring side makes a celebrity less of a media target, which, if you're a member of the Royal Family, is a darned good thing.
The birth of a baby, however, should always be glorious news - except I suppose to those who really didn't intend to get pregnant and don't want the baby or are having their eighth and very unplanned child, like my mother did. She grew to love me, though. I have one photo to prove it.
The joy of a first baby for Will and Kate or any breeding couple can't compare to anything else in life. Falling in love comes close, but having a baby is like falling in love 100 times at once. It is the sun rising within you over and over and over - until of course you're functioning on two hours sleep and wearing the standard new mother uniform that is an oversized milk-stained T-shirt and apparently acting as a human soother for your baby whose ear-piercing screams can shatter crystal the next street over. I generally can't equate my life to that of a celebrity's, but when it comes to expecting your first baby, your water breaking and racing to the hospital to go into excruciating labour pain, I know exactly how Kate is feeling. Terrified and keyed up. Ouch, is that the 15th needle prick up my spine for an epidural, you resident anesthesiologist? You need to try again, you say? Off with your head.
A Royal birth does at least provide a distraction for some in what is a constant negative news cycle in our "if it bleeds, it leads" media universe. What was exciting - even if you're not a monarchist - was if Kate had given birth to a girl, she would have been in line for the throne. British Prime Minister David Cameron said that every country in the Commonwealth had agreed that if the royal baby had been a girl she would have become Queen. He also said a 300-year-old law change was to be enacted to ensure a first-born daughter would become monarch even if she has younger brothers. The historic change, as the Daily Mail Online reported in its "Great Kate Wait" coverage, was approved by the Queen just four months ago to ensure it was on the statute book ahead of the birth. The leaders of all 16 Commonwealth realms agreed to change gender discrimination laws before the birth. But apparently, only three countries outside Britain - St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Canada - have changed their laws to enact the change. Most European monarchies, by the way, have already established an equal law succession, except for Spain, Liechtenstein and Monaco.
But the law is all for naught. Kate had a boy. I feel cheated and it's all William's fault of course. Off with his head. Then again, the boy could turn out to be a real queen.
Though I'm not a Royal watcher - despite devoting 779 words to the topic - I wish Kate and her baby nothing but good health and happiness.