How to give birth like a Princess
As Kate Middleton goes into labour with royal baby number three, Lucy Mangan shares her royal wisdom on regal labour in 10 easy steps
Image: Jenna Lee Alldread
As Prince William and Kate prepare for the arrival of their third child, Lucy Mangan shows you how to push like the posh.
Choose the right partner
Marry a prince. The importance of this really cannot be emphasised enough. Very first step. Marry a prince. Unless you’re the daughter of a queen, of course. But if you’re not, remember, if you do nothing else, marry a prince.
Where to give birth part 1
Until Diana chose to have William in a hospital, royal princesses had always given birth at Buck House, or whichever other palatial pile they called home. So, if you are a rabid traditionalist, you need to plan, early and well.
Exactly how you are going to effect your break-in to the Windsors’ official London residence (the country’s best-guarded and most popular tourist attraction) when you are approximately twice the width of the average early Victorian window and have about as much chance of shinnying up a drainpipe in glass slippers as you have of fitting into your skinny jeans any time soon.
If you do get inside, make sure you’ve Googled how to remove stray bodily fluids from a variety of fine 18th-century furnishings. And if one of the Queen’s corgis ends up getting tangled in the wires of your Tens machine and doing itself an injury, I just hope you can live with the guilt.
Where to give birth part 2
If, however, you prefer a more modern approach, you have three clear choices: 1) the private Lindo wing of St Mary’s (where Wills and George were born); 2) the King Edward VII hospital (where Kate was treated for severe morning sickness at the beginning of her pregnancy with George); or 3) the hospital where Kate and Pippa were themselves born, the Royal Berkshire.
So it really depends on whether you want to have your baby in a place inextricably linked to the Spencer clan, a notoriously unfaithful libertine or go to – shudder – Reading. It’s up to you.
Keep up appearances, no matter what
Wave graciously to nursing staff as you’re wheeled to the labour ward. Do not let standards slip. This is very unprincessy. Remember, it’s not ‘Gemmethedrugs’, it’s ‘Get me the drugs’. You’re dropping heirs here, not Ts. And no grunting, for goodness sake, it's terribly vulgar.
Go with the glow
Bear in mind the old adage: ‘Horses sweat, men perspire, ladies glow.’ Which means that as a Princess in labour you are aiming for a lambent glimmer: a slight hint of a rose-hued, otherworldly radiance at most. In other words, make sure you have an epidural. Ideally at about 20 weeks. Good luck.
Mind your ps and qs
Remember too that princesses do not swear. Nary an expletive should cross your lips (even at the point when you are pushing baby from your personal seat of power). I recommend genning up on some more appropriate alternatives for truly desperate, third-stage moments, such as: ‘Crumbs!’, ‘By jingo!’, ‘I say!’, ‘Gosh, that smarts!’ or ‘Odds bodkins, my liege, this is an unpretty thing!’
Stick to royal fashion etiquette rules
An overnight hospital bag is a right of passage for any mother-to-be. But remember, as a princess you are an ambassador now too, so be a good girl, and buy British.
If you forget anything (a velvet robe to drape across your nether regions, or a medley of silken ropes to keep well wishers at arm’s length?), then place a call to your first lady-in-waiting (sister, mum, BFF) and demand that they deliver it post-haste.
Too posh to push
Whatever your birth plan, it might be worth asking beforehand if there’s any secret alternatives on offer, known only to the select few. This might not be as daft as it sounds, you know – the rich and powerful usually find a way round tricky situations.
After all, they built a special spur off the Circle line to Buckingham Palace so the Royal Family could be shifted to safety during the Cold War. And there’s a network of tunnels under Westminster designed to allow the government to function in the event of national catastrophe.
‘Don’t ask’ doesn’t get – and you never know your luck.
Recover in a home fit for a princess
Furnish your home in suitably royal style. Because trust me, if there’s ever a time for returning to a home full of velvet cushions to sit on, this is it.
Think about your future
If you are hellbent on living the dream, then put the baby’s name down for Eton if it’s a boy, Miss Doily’s Academy of Smiling and Breeding, if it’s a girl. Do this on day two.
Did you give birth like a princess? Share your birth story by tweeting us @GurgleUK or post on our Facebook Page.