Monday, July 22, 2013

Royal Baby Watch


If you're in the United States, you woke up to the news that the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labor - this must be one of the funniest tweets of the morning - and you're probably glued to the news coverage outside St. Mary's Hospital in London.  Do you know what the majority of my friends in the UK are doing?  They're marveling at our obsession with Will, Kate, and the Royal Baby.  See, most Brits, other than the press, aren't consumed by this sort of thing.  Here's a good graphic to explain it:

Personally, while I'm excited about it all, I feel sorry for Kate.  Childbirth sounds like one of the most overwhelming experiences ever, and it must be horrible to have the eyes of the world on you as you bring a baby into the world.  How stressful!  Of course, I'll still keep an eye on the news until there's an official announcement - this doesn't happen every day, you know!  How about you?  Are you a Royal Baby Watcher?  And are you going to celebrate?  I think I should probably find a little bottle of champagne for when that bulletin goes up in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace...

45 comments:

  1. I admit, I find the obsession stomach-churning. I did during the wedding as well, but that was at least a semi-public production/display. But how focused everyone is on her while she's in a very intimate, private course of events? It's disturbing. And I hate to think of the "what ifs" if something were to not be all bonnie and rosy. That pain is unimaginable already, much less in international-news spotlight.
    I hope everything goes well (and swiftly and as low-pain as possible!) for her, but I also hope people realize how much energy and effort they're spending focused on one 31-year-old woman's cervix. And how just plain weird and inappropriate that is.

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  2. I'm excited to find out boy or girl, and the name. But I love baby names, like, really love baby names. So that is always what I get excited about when people have a baby :)

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  3. I don't get the obsession. I mean I can see where it's coming from, because it is kind of exciting, but I don't see the point of wasting my time getting involved in it. Although I can't wait to hear the name and whether it's a boy or girl!

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  4. Georgia ChristakisJuly 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Awkward confession: before I dated Peter, I was definitely not an Anglophile. While some of the literature that has come out of the UK is pretty amazing, I never wanted to study abroad there (why would one study abroad in a country where you already speak the language?) and I think the concept of the royals is very weird. They aren't incredibly intelligent people who have written new theories in science or philosophy; they haven't traveled the world or done anything noteworthy. They're famous just for being born. They stand around and take pictures in front of things and call that patronizing a cause. And in reality, they do absolutely diddly squat. This is a pretty harsh view, I know. And you could argue that a lot of people in the U.S. get money for doing nothing and having no talents too (BELIEVE me, I know.)


    But I just don't get the concept that someone gets to be famous and wealthy just for being born.

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  5. can you imagine the world waiting for you to give birth? sounds absolutely horrible. It is times like this that make me so happy that I'm not famous. Or Royalty. Although I wouldn't mind the paycheck / monies that come with it :)

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  6. Poor Kate is right! I can't imagine having to stand out on those steps smiling and put together mere days after giving birth!


    But, while I think perhaps it's gone a little too far, I do like having something joyous bringing people together. I appreciated that about their wedding as well. These days it feels like we have negativity around every corner so if a baby brings us together in celebration, so be it! While I'm not glued to the TV, I do check in every few hours and I might have to have a celebratory drink tonight in his/her honour ;-)

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  7. I think the Bank Holiday will be scheduled for the Christening? Hurray!!!! x

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  8. It's perplexing to me why people get so obsessed over a couple who isn't even from our country, but I guess we don't have actual royals here, so there must be a fascination over that. I have to admit I love Kate Middleton's style and they seem like very classy people, but I didn't watch any coverage of their wedding, nor am I too concerned over the royal baby. I do feel kind of bad though that Kate's got all this media attention when she's probably at the most miserable point of her pregnancy. Bless her heart!

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  9. yeah. it is disturbing. it's a commentary on modern celebrity, I guess, because "the public" thinks they have a right to know all the intimate details of famous people's lives - the line between public and private has become SO blurred.

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  10. haha well we might have to call on you when the day comes for us to have children - we can think of lots of boys' names we like but not many girls' names!

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  11. yeah - I'll probably keep up with it on Twitter, but I'm not going to stake out a website or blog or anything. but it will be a big deal, historically, if she's a girl!

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  12. Okay, so I totally agree with you in regards to the modern monarchy. But - and I should apologize in advance for how long-winded I might get about this, but it was a major part of my undergraduate history/French thesis - when the concept of monarchy that we still hold on to (to a certain degree) was born more then 1000 years ago, it was believed that kings had a God-given right to rule. They might not have otherwise extraordinary, but it didn't matter because God had given kingship to them in his infinite wisdom. And there must have been some intelligent kings out there to develop this doctrine to such a degree that it really wasn't questioned for centuries! Of course, there were incredibly able kings in Europe back when they really did rule/govern their countries - maybe to a certain extent we don't NEED them to be competent anymore because they're just symbolic and so they're not?

    Nowadays... yeah. You're right. But I think everyone likes the pomp and circumstance, and it's less skeevy to get excited about a new prince or princess than a Kardashian baby, you know?

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  13. the whole process of childbirth grosses me out. I'd actually rather not think about it. haha!

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  14. so true! let's find every reason to celebrate :)

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  15. Georgia ChristakisJuly 22, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Yes. You're right; historically the concept of monarchy is fascinating (and entertaining, if history is your thing.) That's why it's weirder to me that they get so much attention nowadays just for having a particular bloodline. It's like having a living, breathing (and balding-sorry William) relic or landmark...


    That being said, I hope you nerd out one day and give us a taste of your thesis work- sounds hella interesting!

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  16. I love that diagram, it is so true! I just texted my bf who is in London (and British) jokingly saying, "are you eagerly waiting outside the hospital as we speak?" Obviously not, he thinks Americans are crazy for caring at all, well unless there's a bank holiday haha

    A Golden State of Mind

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  17. I am totally excited for the Royal Baby and to watch all of the news but I'd have to agree, how hard it must be on Kate! I don't know if I'll celebrate the Royal Baby but my sisters and I threw my Mom (who's pretty much obsessed with the Royals) a champagne party complete with a miniature cake for the wedding a couple of years back :)

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  18. Great tweet! And love the graphic. Keeping an eye on twitter for the announcement - and the hilarious running commentary.

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  19. I learned about the labour from this blog post, and I'm in London! (That's what we get for saving money by relying on the internet for all our TV needs...)

    You should have opened up a pool for baby names! I've been saying Elizabeth for a girl, Philip for a boy, on the grounds that they'd want to pay tribute to the tremendous role William's grandparents have played in his life. I'm saying it now so that I have proof if I end up being right! ;)

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  20. I have the opposite problem! Since I have no intention of having kids, I give you permission to use Lucy, Olivia, or Vanessa. :-)

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  21. That flowchart sums it up pretty much! I've been waiting all day for more baby news but nothing crazy, just refreshing the news websites every few hours. I am excited for them though, as they seem like such a lovely couple.

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  22. Woah! Big news! I'm so cut off from the world of news that this is where I'm hearing it first. haha. One of my best friends is in London right now on a work trip and I'm excited that she's going to be there for it!

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  23. I'm not necessarily a baby watcher (my eyes aren't glued to the tv or to news sites), but I am excited for them and to find out the gender and name. It does kind of randomly feel like a friend out there is having her first baby. I do feel sorry for her having to go through all the anxiety that can come with having a baby with so many people (and media obviously) watching her every move.



    There has been so much bad news this past month that it's fun to have something good happening out there to hear about for once.

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  24. I am with Georgia about your thesis. Sounds fascinating. Then again I love the historical side of the royalty even though I never studied it. I tend to get my history with a bit of fiction thrown in. :)

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  25. I'm quite fascinated by names as well, and why people choose them, etc. but this particular baby's name, short of being a complete surprise like Tyler or Charmaine (yes that was on purpose!) is just gonna be a rehashing of the five-ish names through which the royals seem to cycle, so I'm honestly not as curious about it as I might be in other situations!

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  26. Exactly. This is why I refuse to check gossip websites (other than hearing stuff on Go Fug Yourself), buy trashy magazines, or watch reality tv- I enjoy tv, films, and music, so I respect the actors and musicians who bring that entertainment to me. The rabble in it only to get famous, who have no discernible value to offer? I want none of them. So I refuse to let my clicks or dollars feed into their baseless fame, or into the obsession with what Suri Cruise wore to school. I sure wouldn't want that life, so why should I contribute to this misery in others'?

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  27. A boy! COME ON BANK HOLIDAY!

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  28. I have to admit I haven't really followed the coverage today. I checked a couple of times to see if there was any announcement and then carried on with my day. Mum shouted up to me to tell me it was a boy, I asked if there was name and that was that.

    Completely feel for Kate being in labour knowing it's causing a commotion though. Last thing a girl needs when she's going through that!

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  29. you inspired me to go find my thesis! ready? here's the first paragraph of my intro:

    On August 11, 1297, Pope Boniface VIII canonized Louis IX of
    France, validating an exemplary life and officially giving Christian Europe a king to venerate and emulate for centuries to come. “This man,” the pope wrote of Louis IX in Reddite quae sunt, one of his
    canonization sermons, “was a king in truth, because he governed himself as well as his subjects truly, justly, and in a holy manner.[1]” His sanctity at the time of his canonization, only seventeen years after his death, was undisputed; even today he is identified without irony as “a most Christian king.[2]” Whether or not Louis IX would have agreed that he deserved this label (as his humility is well documented, he probably would not have), he did in fact base his concept of the role of an ideal king in Christian precepts, and took to heart without any arrogance his responsibility as a sort of seneschal of God’s kingdom of France.

    (I WANT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL! This stuff is so cool.)

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  30. I think it is a fascination with the foreign for most Americans! I bet other countries that have monarchies aren't as obsessed with Kate and Wills as we are.

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  31. the wedding was the best! but see - we got a Bank Holiday for that, so everyone was thrilled :)

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  32. oh boy. the jokes are OUT of control at this point!

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  33. they do! they deserve a few hours of peace before the hordes descend, I think.

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  34. hope she doesn't have to be anywhere near the hospital... I bet it's total gridlock!

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  35. haha thank you for validating my point :P

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  36. it does! Kate feels very approachable - and very much like she understands that we're all excited.

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  37. I'm a total Royal Baby fanatic, but I love babies so it could be anybody. I do feel bad for her because there is such tremendous pressure on her. Having a baby is wonderful, but it's gross and messy and traumatic. I'd hate to be in the public eye with all that going on. At least she didn't live tweet the birth.

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  38. I'm excited by it, but not obsessed with it. Does that make sense? I like that it's historic, but other than that I'm not going crazy over it.

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  39. hahah perfect description, I've had the exact same experience of my US friends being so enthralled by the royal family while my UK friends have no idea why.

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  40. I'm a royal baby watcher, I blame my mother. When I was a tiny tot, I watched Charles and Di get married and cousins in England sent me Princess Di paperdolls and makeup and a few bits of the commemorative china. What can I say, I was brainwashed from an early age. I cried at Will and Kate's wedding and I cried this morning when I woke up and found out it was a boy. I couldn't help myself! x

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  41. Commenting for a second time because this text made me think of you and this post:
    http://www.soweliveforever.com/2013/07/22nd-july-2013.html

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