How could we men be so stupid? There we were, pondering on the wisdom of statutory underpinning for self-regulation of the Press, or wondering whether Rafa Benitez might have the shortest tenure of any Premier League manager in history, and we missed the big news of the moment. If we believe what we're told, every woman in the land knew. Kate Middleton's new hairdo could mean only one thing. And it wasn't because she's having building work at the marital home, even though, after a hard day arguing with a builder with Capital Gold blaring in the background, anyone could be excused for seeking solace in an hour or so in the chair while Raymond of Mayfair got to work with the scissors and the blow dryer. No, as the world now knows, the visit to the coiffeur was a harbinger of pregnancy, and I am grateful to the Daily Mail, ever the oracle on matters Royal, for making me aware of the relationship between hairdressing and gynaecology.
Quite simply, fringe = baby. Or, as one of their correspondents yesterday put it: "With this fringe was a woman surreptitiously signalling readiness for greater commitment". Who knew the role of the coiffeur in Royal succession?
And now there isn't a man in the land who, when his partner returns home with a remodelled barnet, won't be wondering whether the new glossy tresses signify something of deep import.
But back to the couple of the moment, who will be having the first Royal baby (or maybe babies: apparently Kate's current acute sickness - and not the centre parting - indicates that twins may be on the way) of the modern, non-sexist era. He, she, or they will be born into a world where official announcements are made via Twitter, 140 characters now deemed entirely sufficient to keep one's subjects informed. And, thanks to David Cameron's efforts, the little Cambridge will be third in line to the throne, whether boy or girl. The rules of succession will be changed by Parliament allowing for equality between the sexes when it comes to Royal ascension, and notwithstanding that this pushes Harry further down the line (how much fun would he be as a monarch!), this is clearly a step in the right direction for a family in the 21st Century.
We are being invited to think, too, that Kate's non-aristocratic background will ensure that the future heir will have a "normal" upbringing.
Well, up to a point, but first there is the question of the baby's name. If they truly want to create the perception of classlessness, they could go for a Josh or a Chloe. If they want to be of the moment, it has to be Hugh or Nadine. But given that the new child is to be brought into a world where phones won't be hacked, where the paparazzi will behave with decorum and decency, and where the Press will neither intrude nor breach privacy, there can only be one choice if the couple are blessed with a boy.
Thank you, Lord Justice Leveson, and, to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a bouncing baby boy called Brian.