Some two decades ago, Baby Cambridge’s grandmother, the late Princess Di, brought her children over. Well, not exactly over to ours, but to the theme park where I worked during Uni vacations.
It was the Easter holidays and the news spread round Thorpe Park like wildfire that Princess Diana was visiting with young Wills and Harry. The park wasn’t closed or anything; they mingled with the crowds and queued for rides along with everyone else, while I stood at a cash register in a frilly Alice in Wonderland costume desperately hoping the royal party would come into my sweet parlour to buy some pick ‘n’ mix.
They didn’t, but one of the press photos taken that day, of the Princess and Princes on the Logger’s Leap water ride, became one of the most famous images of Diana relaxing with her sons.
(My DH claims to have met Princess Diana, too, when she nearly ran him over on a zebra crossing in Kensington. At the wheel of a dark-coloured car, she apparently appeared out of nowhere, sped up to the crossing, looked my DH directly in the eye as he scurried across, and zoomed off. But my story is more relevant here.)
I was glued to the
#GlobalCervixWatch Royal Baby Watch as history was made today. I devoured the 24-hour news coverage, the fillers, the interviews with knackered, bemused new mums who’d also given birth today. I laughed out loud at the electrifying false alarm, triggered when a security officer walked out of the hospital with a file, and ‘ahhhed’ at the news the fountains in Trafalgar Square would be filled with blue water if the baby was a boy and pink if it was a girl.
Never mind that when the announcement was finally made (four hours after the birth), the internet ground to a halt as millions of people checked the news, and the TV was being hogged by my boys racing each other on Super Mario.
My point, though, is I’m really glad the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed this private, bonding time with their newborn. Tomorrow, they’ll be thrust under the most intense media scrutiny as the public demands images of her leaving hospital, and perhaps struggling with a car seat.
And, as this heir-to-the-throne will inevitably be brought up in the public eye, I hope that Diana’s legacy – the way in which, contrary to previous royal generations, she attempted to give her boys a more normal, grounded upbringing (you can say what you like about her, but she was an amazing mother) – will continue to live on. I’ve a very good feeling that with hands-on parents and the help of Kate Middie’s family, it will.