Felicity Bushmill writes from London: The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. She is three months gone, as my sister-in-law’s earthy midwife puts it. She’s delivered six of my nephews and nieces so I bow to her instincts if not her inside knowledge.
This long awaited news suggests part of the reason William is going for the French jugular. He wants nothing to upset his wife and would-be heir and future British monarch.
Now how does my roly poly midwife know this? Mobile hacking or maybe a tip off from a St Thomas’s chum travelling with TRHs? Nope.
She’s the greatest monarchist in the nation. She curtseys every time she puts a postage stamp on an envelope, being the only person I know who looks at the Queen’s head on first and second class. This means she has been watching and recording every BBC bulletin of the royal tour, especially when the so dignified Nicholas Witchell is on as opposed to the obsequious other guy – clearly yet another OBE-seeking BBC drip.
And what does she see? Having delivered more than 1000 babies in her forty year career she sees a healthy woman carrying a 12 to 14 week child. The cheeks are rosier and full as a wonderfully pluckable English apple. The arms, just a little heavier and not the near anorexic limbs of just a month ago. And being a woman, she sees the frock looser and fuller.
But the clincher? Those famous breasts. Prettier and proper she says – fuller and preggier by the moment.
So that’s it darlings: Kate’s carrying. What fun we’re all going to have. Day by day mass observation of the girl. Millions of eyes, perhaps billions, all tuned like some sensitive ultra sound on the regal tum.
Boy or girl? Will that matter? The answer to that is a constitutional ‘yes’. Cameron’s lot have yet to sort the question of male-female succession. If they have a girl and then later a boy, then the boy gets the throne. Cameron is under pressure to make it a first-born job. As a constitutional bill, he can’t skip a parliamentary vote, so he’d better get his skates on.
But what if she has twins? Well first out is next in line and that’s it. Mind you, twins are unlikely. Neither families have twin history and aren’t twins a bit suburban? Having said that, I suppose both the Middletons and Windsors are a teeny bit Orpington. So let’s not rule it out.
Then comes the question about dates. When is the baby due and where will it be born? This all seems a mundane question but it’s not actually. The baby must be born in London. Why? Because if Kate goes into labour in Wales or Scotland, then there’s a question of identity. This gets important when we remember that the funny and mischievous Alex Salmond still believes Scottish independence is a runner.
There is of course precedence. The only intellectual British monarch (James VI and I) was Scottish. So lots to think and scribble about.
There’s something else to think about. Wills and Kate holding the baby in the fine christening shawl will make even better Hello! pictures than anything snapped from a tree-top by a garlic stinking froggy up a Luberon tree.
The Cambridges will look the perfect family just as Elizabeth and Philip did with the snuggling bairn Charles in the 1940s. All ready for the nuclear family monarchy. But it is the Queen’s first born who is due to inherit the throne of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and fifteen other countries that still bow to the British monarch.
Sadly a lot of British, especially a younger generation, who have forgotten Charles and think Wills and Kate as next in line (much to Charles’s chagrin) will mutter let’s skip a generation.
So darlings, there’s more to rosy cheeks and a fuller bust line than good news for the Windsor branch of Mothercare.