The Media Reacts to the Royal Pregnancy

By Hannah Mudge

It's the news the world's media have been waiting for - the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. Time to stop wondering when she's going to do her duty and start popping out heirs; time to start discussing what names she might choose and what maternity fashion she should be wearing. Despite the fact that she's said to be less than 12 weeks into the pregnancy and is currently in hospital, no-one seems to be thinking about caution and all other news has paled in significance because the nation's premier womb is now occupied. Hurrah!

Here's a round-up of some of the most predictable and ill-advised stories that have appeared since the news broke yesterday afternoon.


Saviour of the economy and a boost for morale




Remember when the royal wedding was going to save the economy? Then it was the diamond jubilee? Me too, which is funny because as far as I can see the country's still struggling. Fear not, however, because William and Kate's progeny is bound to get the UK firing on all cylinders once more. The Telegraph is running a story on the effect the news could have on the tourism industry, while the Independent has gone with the headline "A feelgood foetus?" for its thankfully slightly tongue-in-cheek story on this "boost to public morale". Despite being no more than a couple of inches long, there's nothing this foetus can't do.


Diana comparisons abound




The media obsession with comparing Kate to her late mother-in-law has been going strong for years now, with it long having been suggested that the poor woman should be thinking about having children thanks to the fact William was born less than a year after his parents' marriage. Yesterday's news brought a fresh wave of stories full of pictures of Diana wearing amazingly awful 1980s maternity wear, and "blast from the past" excerpts from newspaper coverage of William's birth interspersed with speculation about how Kate's style of mothering might measure up by comparison. 


Creepy conception speculation




Never wanting to be outdone in terms of OTT coverage, the Daily Mail has managed to devote a whole piece to trying to pin down the date and location of conception. Breathlessly, it tells us:


"The happy announcement that Kate is expecting has sparked immediate speculation about when the child will be born – and inevitably when he or she was conceived."


Thanks to the Mail, we know that the pregnancy can't have been the result of THAT holiday in France, nor is it likely that the Royal Foetus came into being on a tour of the Far East as Kate would have been taking anti-malarial tablets, despite the fact we're told, in true Mail fashion, that temperatures there reached a "steamy" 36 degrees (see what they did there?).


Selective memory




Reporting that William and Kate decided to officially announce the pregnancy yesterday rather than let rumours fly around the internet, the Telegraph took the moral high ground in the wake of the Leveson report and told us


"The Duchess's pregnancy has been the subject of fevered speculation on the internet ever since the couple married. The British press, by contrast, did not repeat the rumours out of respect for the couple's privacy."


If this is the case I'm wondering what the paper would call the incessant stories that have appeared since the couple's wedding in April 2011. Seen not eating nuts? She might be pregnant! Touching her stomach? Must be a baby in there! Spotted holding a child? She must be broody!






It took all of, oh, half an hour for the Guardian to get a liveblog up and running, detailing minute-by-minute reactions to the news with quotes from notable public figures, royal trivia, and the latest odds on what name the couple might choose as well as what colour hair the royal embryo will have (brown's the favourite, in case you're wondering, with ginger coming in at 8/1).


Hannah Mudge writes about all things news and feminism-themed for BitchBuzz, and is currently adjusting to life as a new mum. You can also read her blog, We Mixed Our Drinks or follow her tweets as @boudledidge.

Tue, 04 Dec 2012 15:00 (GMT+00)
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