By Lola Okolosie
So, I know that with it being the jubilee year, the Olympics and Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France, not to mention Andy Murray’s first grand slam win, a royal pregnancy should be, forgive the pun, the crowing glory of the year. But, as a staunch republican, for me, it’s not.
In a true meritocracy, which we keep being told our liberal capitalist democracy is, all children should have the possibility of being head of state. But that isn’t the case is it? I do not and will not ever believe that ANYONE has a god given right to rule me and, indeed, that their de-facto power makes them an intrinsically better human being than I. That is how the media machine is attempting to justify the royal’s place in society. You all know what I’m talking about, the endless useless stories of the amount of ‘charity’ work they do- when in reality, they are the state’s chief welfare recipients.
But on this one my strong republicanism finds it’s way to some sympathy for Kate and Will. The weeks before the 12 week safety zone, where it becomes ok to announce your pregnancy to the world, is arguably, one of the most private moments a couple can share. They are eight weeks in and yet have to share this news with the world so that the entire saga can be played out in full, for as long as possible, in the public arena. After all, the nation is deeply concerned with the fruit of their loins! And, if you aren’t, that is just tough luck because on Monday this was the ‘breaking’ news of the entire day. Maybe unsurprisingly, it was given top billing on nearly all news broadcasts, over and above the possibility that George Osborne is set to make big corporations like Starbucks and Amazon pay their corporation tax. Evidently, more of us are affected by Kate’s pregnancy than tax reform for the very rich.
To justify what might be considered an intrusion too far, we are told that the reason for releasing the news is because Kate is suffering from acute morning sickness. Surely this gives us yet more reason to see her as a princess dutifully, through her silence, bearing the burden of being female. She is in hospital being a ‘strong’ woman, made to suffer like all women, yet obviously with the best prize of all at the end- an heir. Think of it as the modernised biblical retelling of Eve’s great legacy to women the world over.
Kate’s morning sickness is so severe that she needs to be privately hospitalised. Women up and down the country know exactly what that feels like but sadly, their babies aren’t important enough to warrant such measures- they won’t be 3rd in line to the throne so they will just have to suck it up. As a new mother, the thought that my baby’s life is worth significantly less than someone else’s makes me, to put it mildly, mad as hell.