Two very different pictures of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are taking shape here and in America. My recent trip to Chicago coincided with baby George – the republican destroyer – enjoying his first birthday and a glut of British papers devoting newstime to celebrating his ethereal status as dreamiest baby ever made. Oh how is George so wonderful? Let me count the ways.
Clearly they are not looking at the same baby as me because George, like most babies, looks a bit like John Prescott and contributes little more to the world than frequent filling of his nappy. Republicans would argue that is pretty much the sum total that George will ever achieve.
I personally rather like the existence of royalty. The unfairness of their lot as compared to mine infuriates me, but I do love the thoroughness with which they troop the colour and I have a soft spot for those silly little gold carriages they scoot about in at weddings and racecourses. We could do all this without the royals but it wouldn’t be the same. We could elect a president instead and then the people who’d push themselves forward would be various incarnations of Tony Blair. I’d rather have Will, Kate and Goldenbaby. Better the devil you know.
Here in the UK there’s fresh clamour for the royal pair to create another child to improve even on their perfect life, while in the US, magazine aisles rock with gossipy front covers estimating that Kate now weighs 6st 5lb, that she is suffering from anorexia and cannot cope with public life. Are the Americans journalists absolutely barking up the wrong tree here? Are they simply making up lies about lovely Kate to shift their gossipy rags? Or are we politely looking the other way and refusing to notice the ever-shrinking Duchess, clapping along as she shares secret of her new “raw diet”?
We’re so much more civilised now, we believe. We soaked in the Leveson inquiry. We realised that gossip and paparrazi shots are far from “ethically harvested”. We’re so genned up on the perils of body-fascism, thin-shaming, misogyny and bad feminism that there’s a small chance we’re turning a blind eye to what many Americans feel is a big fat fact. One thing’s for sure with royalty – the truth will always, eventually, out.