After months of fevered media speculation since their wedding in April 2011, we recently learned that a new royal baby is finally on the way for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
While many of us will be cooing and clucking with excitement over the next few months, scanning the tabloids for daily updates and photographs of the growing royal bump, few of us will spare a thought for the little one itself and how it will fare with a life lived in a window display for the media.
From the day it is born the royal baby will be propelled into a world of privilege and wealth beyond the dreams of 99.99% of the UK population. Conversely, anonymity and a private life is something it will never experience. Every milestone in its journey through life will be marked by photographs, news reports and many column inches in the glossy magazines glamorising the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
For Royalty, Read Celebrity
These days the Royal family are treated to the same media hype and public hysteria as celebrity actors, footballers, musicians and business moguls, but there is a difference here. Everyone who has become a celebrity through their work has done so by their own choice to a greater or lesser extent, however royal babies and also the children of celebrities are thrust into the limelight whether they choose to be or not.
In the celebrity world, what could provide greater media publicity and plump up a fading celebrity career faster than being photographed with your cutesy son or daughter, wearing an ensemble of the latest designer children’s’ wear and looking like a mini-me version of their famous mum or dad?
Take Katie Holmes daughter Suri for example, when Suri first stepped out wearing makeup, designer handbag and high heels, there was great public debate as to whether this look was appropriate for a five year old. However, the USA is a hotbed of teeny beauty pageant queens, dressed and made up inappropriately so why would one little girl make the news? Unless she was the daughter of a celebrity of course.
We also learned recently that the unborn baby of reality show celebrity Kim Kardashian and Kanye West is all set to star in its own movie – the one where it is born! It’s one thing getting paid for the cameras to follow your every pregnant move, if you are so narcissistic that you think everyone wants to watch you, but quite another for an innocent baby to be captured on arrival into the world, not for the purpose of a private viewing by its proud parents but for all the media attention it will glean for its celebrity mum and dad.
So let’s hope that the young parents of the royal baby will ensure it is shielded from the spotlight for as long as possible and treat it as a young individual, not an extension of their own image.
Viv Dobson writes baby related articles for www.baby2you.co.uk, online suppliers of baby clothes.