Thomas Mathew writes from Edinburgh: Trust two frisky pandas in the Edinburgh zoo to put an end to the endless drivel about the Duchess of Cambridge supposedly revealing, by accident, during her recent visit to the fishing town of Grimsby – why the hell did she choose Grimsby? – that the baby she’s carrying is a girl.
The fuss started a couple of days ago when the duchess did a walkabout in Grimsby, meeting with some of the locals who obviously had nothing else better to do that day than form a cheerful crowd to greet her. Although with all that unemployment on the rise in the fishing industry, compliments of the European Union’s quotas, they probably didn’t know how else to kill time that day. The duchess wore her traditional fixed insincere smile with her eyes not really connecting to her mouth – the Tony Blair way.
Hacks following the duchess on her bizarre trip were obviously hoping for something to happen, so that they could write something about the great event. And their prayers were answered. As the duchess accepted a teddy bear from a little girl she was overheard saying: ‘Thank you, I will take that for my d…’ – before falling silent. That was enough for the rumour mill to go into an frantic overdrive, with hacks concluding that she must have meant ‘daughter’.
Cynics, though, pointed out that she might have just as well have meant other things. It could have been ‘dear Papa’ or ‘dear Mama’ or dear Sis’, as the Middletons are known for their love of children’s toys and throwing wild parties for kids, having made a fortune on that sort of thing. Some, though, suggested that the duchess could have meant ‘for my dear husband’, as Prince William is known for his love of talking in a babyish voice and playing with cuddly toys, to relieve the stress of his exhausting schedule.
But hacks would not hear anything of it. They decided that the duchess could only have meant ‘daughter’, implying that she’s expecting a girl. The news made headlines and the next day all the talk was about the royal baby girl. Especially as Nick Clegg and his gang are busy pushing a new law of succession through parliament that would mean that the girl, who is expected to be named Carol after Ma Middleton, would become queen, even if the duchess gives birth to a son at some point in the future.
The danger of the story about the Royal baby girl taking over the headlines for several days was becoming very real. But luckily for everyone, the next day after the Grimsby accidental ‘revelation’, news br0ke that the two giant pandas in the Edinburgh zoo, Yang Guang and Tian Tian, had been allowed to inspect each other’s enclosures, preparing the ground for some serious hanky-panky in the next week or so. The hope is that they will produce an offspring who would be as famous as the Royal baby, or maybe even more. The news about the pandas getting frisky quickly pushed the story about Kate’s slip of the tongue out of the news.
Trust the two beasts, who are on loan from China to the Edinburgh zoo for a million smackers a year, to introduce some sanity into our lives and spare us the drivel about the future royal baby.