I try and I try but I just can’t hate Her Royal Duchess of Cambridge. From the moment she hit my non-existent care factor about the royals (which to her credit has increased exponentially… actually Harry’s got a bit to do with that too) I’m admiring this girl more and more.
Of course it’s not her fabulous dress sense, ridiculously awesome figure (it’s not her fault- she’s got good genes. And she probably only has a squeeze of lemon with her tea, not milk, sugar and five dark chocolate McVities Digestives), serene aura and sweet smile. No, it’s the way she has conducted herself after the birth of her two children.
My eyes welled when I saw that poor girl, a few days post partum, face an unruly crowd of reporters and general monarchist nuts with her first born child. You could see the tears in her eyes, her uncertainty and that thinly veiled panic every mother has when their son or daughter, hours old, is held by their father in a fairly nonchalant manner. After all, the male equation still has all his bits intact and hormone levels at what would be considered a ‘normal’ level, not a ‘don’t put any sharp instruments near her’ crazy kind of level. That new mum in a blue dress made me think of my own first post partum pictures. Not exactly being the epitome of grace and poise and being without my makeup team (it was a Saturday after all), I don’t think it really gets much different.
A radiant smile or plastered grimace?
And I truly felt for her. All I had to do was face a few family and friends who all looked upon and held my newborn with whispering deference, not a legion of screaming fans and flashing lights.
Definitely a grimace. Laced with a touch of restrained violence as Wills holds the baby the wrong way.
So when this woman faced the cameras the second time around, literally hours after giving birth with her makeup and hair done, looking calm and confident, I loved Kate a little bit more. Like us all, she’d obviously thought about what she’d disliked the first time around (facing the media on dreaded Day 3 when your head is about to explode with lack of sleep and hormones) and made a bit of a plan to ensure it didn’t happen again (show the baby when you’re still high on adrenaline and birthing endorphins) and go back to the palace for another cup of tea and a lie down.
Makeup, camera, hair curlers, action! Taking control of the press, clever girl.
Of course my second time around plan was more about not looking like a blimp and knowing that the car seat was actually attached to the car properly. And my palace staff were limited to my toddler (fairly useless in the helpful stakes) and my husband (very helpful but almost always corralling the toddler). And isn’t that the number one prize of being a bit of a nobody? Being able to flounder around in those first few days and weeks post partum with only a few people on hand to judge your particular choice of trackpaints or milk stained singlet? Yes, I admire and even have something bordering on love for Kate: I yearn for her figure and wardrobe, but she can have the rest of the Duchess baggage. It looks like a fair bit of bother to me old chaps.
Failing the Kate Way of Post Partum on many fronts, including choice of dress, inability to reign in hormones and open hostility at husband’s ‘reckless and unsafe joy’ whilst holding baby over water (giving her a bath).