Early this morning, the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital in the early stages of labour. Along with my fellow commoners I could only guess what “early stages” meant.
Had the waters broken? How many inches dilated? How many minutes between contractions? And why, given how intimate, unpredictable and frightening any labour can be, did I think I had the right to know?
Of course, I know the answer to this already. We’re all invested in this baby, whether we like it or not. From the most devoted royal watcher to the most ardent republican, each of us has a take on what it all means.
For some it’s a cause for celebration. For others, a third child to the second in line to the throne, at a time when child tax credits have been withdrawn for third children of low-income families, can only symbolise the gross inequality pervading Britain in 2018.
As for me, I feel sorry for Kate. For all her privilege, I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have the entire country focussed on your performance in childbirth (and I write this as someone who’s given birth in a car park, next to a Portakabin. I know all about going public with this sort of thing, but there have to be limits).