In which the princess is not a panda


We should all have guessed, of course – it was a classic deflection technique. Get a new fringe; world coos over new fringe; everybody stops monitoring your womb for five minutes and you can get discreetly pregnant. After all, nobody gets a fringe for no reason. Break up, breakdown, enormous forehead spot, spawning the future sovereign - every fringe tells a story.  

Sidestepping the vague ickiness inherent in the whole nation merrily applauding royal copulation, as though the Duke and Duchess are the Edinburgh zoo pandas, it’s sad that Kate’s chief public value, up to now having been 1. looking flawless and 2. producing an heir, will now inevitably be: looking flawless, while producing an heir.  

On the plus side, maternity wear will give me the likeliest chance I’ve ever had of ‘getting the Middleton look’. Once Kate’s swapped the nude stilettos for a nice pair of plimsolls and a smock top (or “poured her curves” into a comfy sweater dress from Hobbs, as the Daily Mail will doubtless have it), it’ll be far easier for the rest of us to match her in the style stakes. Other than accessorising with an adorable baby monarch, that is.  

But the most uncomfortable thing about the hoo-hah (the media, I mean, not a euphemism for the royal cervix) is how quick everyone is to overlook the way in which we found out. Not a dignified statement from the glowing couple, but Kate rushed to hospital with hyperemesis before the usual 12-week safety curtain has fallen.  

As a recovering emetophobe and, well, a human, I can imagine nothing grimmer than vomiting so much you have to be hospitalised. Except maybe vomiting so much you have to be hospitalised, but not before doing a few weeks of public appearances in restrictive wool coat dresses, all the while looking cheerfully, perfectly poised and maintaining the Shiniest Hair In The World for the braying vulture wake of the world’s press.  

It’s sad, then, not only that Kate is suffering but also that she and Will have had to spill the beans so early and be deprived of their exciting, private, secret-keeping time. The bit before Twitter explodes and the Daily Mail moves into her uterus and Ladbrokes start listing the odds on them naming the kid ‘LK Bennett’. The bit where they get to just be happy, nervous parents-to-be.  

Alright, she’s a pampered Duchess, while there are millions of women for whom a hospital bed and treatment to ease the suffering of pregnancy would be luxury beyond comprehension – but feeling sympathy for one person doesn’t mean you forget about everyone at the other end of the spectrum. Compassion doesn’t run out. So let’s be kind and leave them to it for a while.

In the meantime, I hear one of the Edinburgh pandas has been spotted buying Barry White records and massage oil. Keep your eyes peeled for a new hairdo, everyone.