A feelgood foetus? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's news offers hope to bearers of bad tidings

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Extinguish all rational thought. Abandon all hope that the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will make the front pages this week. Stand aside, Leveson Inquiry and its fretful consequences. There’s a royal foetus out there and it’s instantly eclipsed all other news.

Scarcely had Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got hitched in May last year – barely had they been carried down the Mall in their golden carriage – than their loyal subjects in the nation’s press began speculating how soon a royal bun might rise in  the Middletonian oven. Remarkably, though, today’s news was recently forecast in a flurry of hints and coincidences.

The Duchess appeared in public with a new haircut: “What,” asked one newspaper darkly, “is she hiding behind that fringe?” Clearly she must be hiding news about a secret sprog emblazoned on her brow. Hello! Magazine splashed with “Baby Talk: William and Kate spark rumours”. The magazine has carried variants of the line for 18 months, but this time they knew something was afoot. Why? Because the couple “kept laughing together as if they had some wonderful news”. Elementary, my dear readers. 

Last week, Prince William accepted a Babygro garment from a well-wisher without hurling it on the ground and stamping on it? Kate must be pregnant! Ladbroke’s instantly posted odds-on of 1-5 that there’d be an announcement in 2013.

They were wrong. Today, nudged by a burst of hyperemesis gravidarum, St James’s Palace announced that the Duchess is indeed expecting a baby, although the pregnancy is still in its very early stages.

The Prime Minister immediately tweeted to say that he was “delighted with the news”, and you can understand why. Say what you like about the royals but their timing is impeccable. Just as the country starts to tip over into a long slide towards the Pit of Winter Gloom, as the Coalition Government threatens a schism over press freedom, as the Church of England contemplates its own extinction, as the Chancellor considers “tackling” welfare payments for the poor, the British population can lift their hearts with joy because two of the country’s richest people are expecting a little Elizabeth (8-1) or Frances or John or Charles (all 10-1). Or Mo (500-1.)

The pregnancy does present one mild legislative inconvenience, in the sense that the updating of the law of royal succession to give female heirs equal rights to male ones may need to be backdated to accommodate this notional heir to the Duke of Cambridge.

It will be considered a small price to pay for the perceived boost to public morale. The nation has been riding thermals of alternating sporting and royal ecstasy all year, with the Olympics, the paralympics, the Golden Jubilee, Andy Murray, the Tour de France, the All Blacks at Twickenham…

Just as we thought our collective bliss was all over for 2012 and grim reality was returning, the announcement of a royal pregnancy offers a brilliant back-throw to the summer of the feel-good factor. Because the pregnancy is obviously (don’t argue; it’s obvious) the result of royal rapture atone of those golden moments...

Connoisseurs of sibling rivalry will point out that the Duchess had to do something to steal back the limelight from her sister and the publication of that wretched party book. (Does it include an entry on how to celebrate the announcement that one is to be an auntie?) The rest of us will go on speculating about what the Royal parents really meant by their pregnancy-timing.

With luck it’ll take us right up to the birthday. Say farewell, news agenda.

Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Consultant - Bristol - Computer Futures - £18-25k

£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Real Staffing - Leeds - £18k+

£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Progressive Rec.

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London