Of royalty and babies
There's a fever raging across the United Kingdom that is likely to peak in July. Excitement is boiling over the expected arrival of the newest royal in the Mountbatten-Windsor household. Every design or brand that Kate, now known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wears during her pregnancy is fast disappearing off the racks. From London to Leeds people are spending hours discussing possible names for the heir to the throne. Cashing in on the madness and euphoria, Discovery Channel has now prepared a well-researched show titled Wills & Kate: Baby Fever.
So what’s new and interesting in yet another documentary about the royal couple, especially when everyday sheets of newsprint is being used up to talk about Kate’s pregnancy and all the hype, joy and even tragic controversies around it?
When we came across an advance copy of the DVD therefore, I was a trifle hesitant to subject myself to 43 minutes of torture. But let me say first up, I was proved wrong. Yes, Discovery has done the usual stuff like speak to historians, biographers, former royal protection officers and chief of staffs but thanks to some genuinely good production and editing, it turned out to be 43 minutes of enjoyment. In fact, I didn’t feel the urge to click the fast forward button even once!
Terming the Wills & Kate (Prince William was fondly called Wills by his mother, the late Princess Diana) story as a ‘new royal fairytale’, the documentary has extensive interviews of people who have studied the Windsors closely over the decades, reported on them for years or have worked at Buckingham Palace at different times.
It has different things for different people, depending on what you are looking for. Those with a sense of humour for instance, will perhaps be tickled to see that the pretty royal historian who speaks at length is called Kate Williamson, or that the royal editor of the Sunday Express who talks about possible names for the yet unborn heir is called Camilla. The coincidences are hard to miss.
Coincidences apart, the documentary explores in detail what the baby could possible be named, how the new royals are going to balance their lives, if the baby would grow up to go to an elite school or a public one and even if Kate would agree to a nanny. Comparisons are invariably drawn to the late Princess Diana and how she brought up William and Harry as ‘normal children,’ and how that has helped them as individuals.
And even if royal pregnancies do not excite you much but, fashion does, there is a lot here. For instance, we get to know that most leading designers of the world now have baby lines and that a war of sorts is already afoot on which brands the new royal wears. And even before than, every line of clothing and every possible design that Kate has been photographed wearing during her pregnancy so far has disappeared off the racks in a matter of days.
Other stuff you will find out here? Possible godparents for the baby (suggestions include Beck & Posh); challenges that Wills and Kate will face from the paparazzi and expert opinion on how the child should be brought up. Watch this if you are following the Wills & Kate story in any case. Or else, watch it just for kicks.
Wills & Kate: Baby Fever will be shown on Discovery Channel tonight at 8 pm