Yesterday I wasted a good part of the day pressing refresh on the BBC website to see if Catherine Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to her third child.
Poor woman (her not me!) with the eyes of the world waiting outside while she is in labour. I wondered – as I did during her previous labours – whether she watched any of the news coverage and laughed.
A new baby is a time for celebration but also for worry. The stakes are much higher when you already have children and are aware of the magnitude of the love that you have for your children and the fear of if things go wrong. Birth is tough and scary but also wonderful.
The Duchess has the added pressure of the world watching her every move and judging her. I rolled my eyes when my mum told me that her stylist had arrived at the hospital about 4 hours before the couple emerged with their baby son.
I am a staunch monarchist. I love the institution and love my country.
However I was shocked at the hatred and spite that were rife on social media yesterday. I wrote a tweet about being excited about the royal baby and someone asked me if I was mentally unstable!
Others used the event to make political comment. I understand that not everyone is in favour of the monarchy but this is a woman giving birth. A new life and a family life changed forever.
I am reminded of Bambi where Thumper is instructed ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all’ (sic). We have a constitution that grants us free speech but with that comes a responsibility to use it wisely. I wish others had shown self restraint yesterday instead of spouting their vitriol to show off.
Yes, there are other news stories which should have been given more air time but this wasn’t the Duke and Duchess’ decision.
Yes, the royals live a privileged life but I wouldn’t want to swap with them! I prefer my simpler life where I can focus on my family out of the public eye.
Yes, thousands of women give birth everyday. But this is a child who will grow up in a world where everyone knows his name and face. A child who will never have privacy. A child who will have duty instilled in him, who will represent his country and his family, who will support and promote charities.
Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their new prince. Good luck to Prince George and Princess Charlotte who will adore their little brother and be driven mad by him!