Kensington Palace announced this morning that Kate Middleton “was safely delivered of a son,” the third child for Prince William and his wife of seven years. Today was reportedly her due date, which makes sense because she really seems to have this giving birth thing down, and we are now T-minus-several hours from the Duchess alighting the stairs at the back of the hospital for the international press with a fresh blowout, a cute dress, and a flawless smile. Oh, and a sweet baby. Don’t forget the baby!
I, for one, am excited. There will be some who tell us this is wrong and silly. It is not. Here are three reasons why.
1. We won a war for freedom.
Some Americans are under the grossly mistaken impression that because we violently and triumphantly unyoked ourselves from the British Empire oh so many years ago, we are under some sort of informal directive to spurn the traditions and hoopla of the royal family. This is not the case. It is not a betrayal of America to enjoy the pageantry and excitement of these events. We fought a war for the freedom to care about what we want to care about, and this is among the things we may choose as free Americans.
Further, it is precisely because we threw off British oppression that we can enjoy this occasion in a pure, cost-free way. We don’t subsidize the nonsense. We are free and it is free to us. It is quintessentially American to enjoy these spoils of our victory.
There’s an actual town crier for a royal birth, in real life, for goodness’ sake. Don’t miss this because you’re hung up on the country we dumped more than 200 years ago.
Which brings me to this. Secure Americans should be at peace with our special relationship with Britain and happy to celebrate her special occasions, no matter how odd they seem to us. Avoiding royal baby and engagement news entirely, or begrudging others their enjoyment of it, makes it sound like you might still be a little hung up on Britain. We’re America. We’re over here living our lives loud and proud. Why would we be upset if the ex we dumped is getting a bunch of attention for having giant weddings and making cute babies?
2. Babies are awesome.
Senators’ babies, Duchess’ babies, hotel lobby babies, Wendy’s parking lot babies. I don’t care. With American birth rates below replacement rate, and similar numbers all over the Western world, it’s a delight to see one of the more admired and glamorous women in the world have three children and make it look like so much fun. Yes, she has all the help and resources in the world. Her life is very, very different than an average mom’s, but she also has something in common with other moms. She seems to be active in her children’s lives and truly enjoy raising them. (She truly must to endure severe hyperemesis three times.)
Every time I see it, I have a thrill of solidarity mixed with empathy for her. Her life has many, many upsides, but I do not envy the part where she has to control three children in extremely high-stakes public situations of the utmost decorum in heels all the time.
3. Will and Kate seem to like each other and their children
I never got the fascination with the royals as I was growing up. I had no particular issue with them but didn’t indulge. Then I watched William and Harry grow up, witness their parents’ ugly split, lose their mom, and seem to find fulfilling relationships with solid, interesting women. Kate and Will have been fun to watch because they seem to love each other. That authenticity and joy is what allows Middleton to be nearly annoyingly perfect without annoying almost anyone. I hope the same for Harry and Meghan, whose PDA suggests some of the same. In many ways, this new generation adheres to the strictures of royal life, but they depart in endearing ways — talking openly about mental health, marrying Americans and sticking up for them in sharply worded public statements, and actively raising their kids in public.
Kate and William make parenting look good and rich and hard and fun, which is what it is. They just wear better clothes while doing it. This is good news. Feel free to enjoy.