Two days ago a young woman announced she was pregnant with her first child. This is a moment of jubilation and worry for anyone. Particularly for those who are in the public eye.
This particular young woman, having announced her pregnancy, is now going to be watched like a hawk throughout the rest of it, and probably, throughout the rest of her life. Now to be fair she did sign up for this, she was well aware when she married William Windsor that not only was she was marrying into the most famous family in the UK, she was also marrying the second in line for the throne. There is no way she can have been ignorant of the media storms surrounding Williams mother (Diana Princess of Wales) nor can she have missed the fact that every single silly thing either William or his brother Harry have ever done has been reported widely in the media. She knew what she was getting into and she decided it was worth it.
Then she got pregnant. Well that was bound to happen really, it’s what married couples do, and it’s what the nation expected them to do. Her pregnancy was announced by the palace on 3rd December 2012, after Catherine had been admitted to hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravid arum she is believed to be less than 12 weeks pregnant.
This announcement therefore was forced by circumstance, they would no doubt, have liked to be able to wait longer. To confirm that everything was OK. Instead Catherine is in hospital suffering from a severe illness which is being reported in the papers as “morning sickness” which is really something of an understatement in the circumstances and is leading I believe to some claiming she is receiving special treatment because of who she is. This is probably, to an extent true, this baby is very important and there is no way that anyone involved in the care of the Duchess of Cambridge can be unaware of this fact.
In the hours after the announcement came my Twitter feed was full of tweets tagged #royalbaby. There’s nothing unusual about this, it was an important announcement, so important apparently that for a few hours at least it drowned out tweets relating to International Day of Persons with Disabilities. What was interesting about the comments in my feed was that predominantly they were from people who were complaining that the announcement of the Royal Baby would mean that that would be all we would hear about in the news until well after the birth. And really, do we need daily updates on the state of the contents of the Duchess of Cambridge’s womb?
The answer to this is no, we don’t. In fact it would be better for everyone including the Royal Foetus if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, having been forced to announce the pregnancy were now left alone to cope with the difficulties that they are clearly having on their own with the support of their family. Because right now, I suspect that it doesn’t matter very much to them whether or not the nation is supportive of them, and is worried about the state of their baby and the Duchess of Cambridge herself.
It doesn’t matter right now whether or not that small group of cells will grow into a male or female baby. What matters right now, to William, to Catherine and to the rest of their families is that Catherine has been taken to hospital suffering from a condition which if left untreated can kill; and for which the only solution is to terminate the pregnancy or suffer. Since terminating the pregnancy isn’t an option for this particular young woman (setting aside her and her husbands feeling about terminations), she’s going to have to suffer so wouldn’t it be better if we all backed off, let them have time and space and congratulated them when the baby is finally born.
Speculation isn’t going to help and for those who don’t want to hear the ins and outs of every moment of Catherine’s pregnancy shutting up about it is going to send a clear message to the media that we would like them to respect this young couples privacy and let them tell us what’s going on in their own time.
Discussing their every move and reporting on rumour and speculation isn’t going to help. What’s going on is none of our business, this is between them, and like walking past when you can see there’s been an accident but the paramedics are already there. Letting them get on with it is the best thing we can possibly do.
Please, let them be. I wouldn’t want my body, my baby to be exposed to this level of media attention and they shouldn’t have to suffer it either.