Where do royal babies come from?
Sunday, May 12, 2019
All the hoopla about the new royal baby is unseemly and ridiculous. At least on this side of the Atlantic.
You can understand why the British might care. Every five minutes they spend hearing about the royal baby is five minutes they don't have to hear about Brexit. They will also have to watch this kid grow up, whereas we'll only hear about him or her when they screw up.
For us, it's a puzzlement. It's one of those stories that no one talks about except for the gossipy TV morning shows. No one at work cares, no one at the gym cares, no one at home cares; only the morning shows care.
They are all over this like a trench coat on Columbo. 24/7, nonstop team coverage with breathless reporting on an event that will have no impact on your life whatsoever. They will send reporters to London, as if they have a better chance of getting closer to the story than if they'd stayed in New York. That's never worked before, and it won't work now. Besides, it's creepy and icky.
You get the feeling that the scoop of the decade would be if they were the first to report that Meghan Markle's water broke. Wow! What digging! What insight! What nonsense!
This kid will be so far down the list of heirs to the throne that their chances of being king or queen would only be realistic if there were a sudden breakout of Ebola at Balmoral Castle this summer.
A royal baby IS important — to his or her parents, close relatives, and their dear friends. You know: the same way nonroyal babies are important. For people not in any of those groups to obsess over it is troubling. Absolute strangers will send this kid bootees and onesies because television has made them feel as if they are somehow part of the family. I wonder, though: How would they like it if complete strangers sent THEM presents and best wishes for their new baby? Not just strangers, but strangers from another country an ocean away. They would rightly think that they were being stalked by unstable people.
Sure, there are delusional people everywhere, but most of us try to help them, not to encourage their fantasies. Television does just the opposite. You've made a picture of Meghan and Harry out of rusty bottle caps you found while metal-detecting to commemorate the event? Come on down! Welcome to the Royal Morning Show. You've knitted a beer cozy with the royal seal on it? Let me give you Meghan and Harry's address so you can drop it off in person. I'm sure they'd love to see you, and 5,000 other people, at their garden gate.
What will the Royal Couple feed the Royal Baby in the Royal House when they get back from the hospital? Will she breastfeed? Will they vaccinate? Will they use cloth nappies, or disposable? Inquiring minds want to know, so we've sent a drone with a telephoto lens to find out.
What will they name the child? Here's our expert on Royal Names. He says Meghan's a wild-card American, and may go out of the Royal Box with Ke$ha for a girl, Drake for a boy. Who will the Royal Nanny be? And coming up after the break, let's see what Bobby Flay has to say about the Royal Baby.
Yes, television has to fill up 150 channels with something 24 hours a day, but they could save a lot of money by just rerunning all the reports they did on the last Royal Baby, and the one before that, and the one before that. Just change the names of the parents. Who would know the difference?
Jim Mullen is the author of It Takes a Village Idiot: A Memoir of Life After the City. His column, The Village Idiot, takes a look at the curiosities of American life.