A PRINCE IS BORN: WELCOME BABY CAMBRIDGE!
After what seemed like endless weeks of waiting, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, delivered a son yesterday at 4:24 pm. The newest member of the British royal family, third in line to the throne after his grandfather, Prince Charles and father, William, Duke of Cambridge, wasted no time in meeting his future subjects.
Less than 24 hours after being born, 'Baby Cambridge,' as he is being called in the press, had his first photo call outside St. Mary's Hospital with his beaming parents.
The new parents gamely posed for photos and even chatted with reporters. A clearly delighted William had quite a few quips for onlookers. "He's got quite a set of lungs on him," he told one reporter while admitting relief to another by saying, "Thankfully, he got her looks."
William also promised that he and Catherine would try to announce the name they chose for their son as soon as possible. "I know how long you've been standing out here waiting," he joked, referring to the 24/7 watch at the hospital by the press that started weeks ago. William noted he planned to remind his son of his tardiness when he was old enough to understand he'd kept the world waiting.
As for Catherine, the new mother looked lovely and happy in a flowing polka dot shirt dress that mirrored the same style worn by Princess Diana when she left the same hospital with William in her arms. A close look at pictures of both new mothers seem to indicate that both babies were swaddled in the same ivory blanket.
While British law was changed last year to allow a child of either sex to become monarch, it has been widely reported that the pressure is off Catherine now that she has delivered a son. It seems that the incredibly poised Duchess can do no wrong in the eyes of the royal family and in those of a nation who seems to fall more in love with her every day.
The focus will now be on the royal couple to see how they will raise their son. William is the first royal to take the legal two week paternity leave in order to help his wife adjust to parenthood. (Yes, even dukes gets paid leave) Catherine's mother, Carole Middleton, will stay with her daughter to assist with much of the duties handled by nursemaids for previous royal births. Both Catherine and William have vowed to be hands-on parents and are sure to set precedents for how a royal baby grows up in today's Internet age.
It is interesting to note how many subtle yet unmistakable gestures the royal couple have made in homage to Diana from their choice of hospitals to Catherine's going-home dress. It is all but certain the path blazed by Diana, where she raised two boys of noble birth to understand with great privilege comes great responsibility, will be continued by these young parents who have breathed new life into the British monarchy. There was something incredibly poignant about seeing William secure his new baby in his car seat and drive off with his wife as if they were just another blissfully happy couple about to start a new chapter of their lives. As if. The world will be watching. I wish them well.
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Photos: Tal Cohen/EPA; Getty