You know that sinking feeling you get when you bump into an old friend you haven’t seen for years? You go for coffee, a beer, something stronger. You reminisce about the old times and compare notes on the new – what’s that, Paul? Married now? Kids, is it? Four of the fuckers? Why, of course I’d love to see photos of them!
At least in the old days, this farcical pretence of interest in the progeny of others would only last for the time it takes to brandish a couple of beat-up Polaroids from their wallet or purse; now, the wonders of modern technology mean that Paul or Janet or whoever the fuck can bash you over the head with a slideshow of their sprogs until hell freezes over.
It’s bad enough being confronted with the “miracle” of birth from friends and acquaintances. Imagine if complete strangers bombarded you with images of their offspring as well. Imagine they took over all of the major media outlets – newspapers, TV stations, internet sites – to shout from the rooftops about how the missus has just shat out another seven-pound porker? Worst of all, imagine the rest of the world went completely gaga for the new googoogaga? Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it? Well, this sort of unhinged behaviour has been going on for centuries now, and now its latest instalment has landed square in our midst.
In case you hadn’t been notified, Prince William and his main squeeze Kate have just popped out another young pup (although to be fair, she did the lion’s share of the popping) to the general rapture of the great unwashed. To give headline writers even more ammunition, the squidgy-faced ankle-biter announced his arrival on the same day that some fella named George didn’t kill a dragon, leaving mass media and much of the population sobbing in a similar exhausted euphoria to that which follows an hour-long wanking session. Rumour is the couple have settled upon Arthur as a name for the whipper-snapper, pipping bookies’ favourite “Fucknugget” at the post.
While many a Briton cooed and cawed over the news, many others were less impressed. For one thing, Arthur’s arrival in the same year as the Tories cacklingly announced they would be rescinding benefits for third children of struggling families was a bitter pill to suck on for the 13 million living beneath the poverty line. The ruling, of course, won’t affect Kate, William et al, whose unemployment status sees them rake in princely welfare allowances from the state, as well as the biggest council house this side of the Taj Mahal. Have you seen their gaffe? A bloody palace, so it is! Something smells a little fishy in the Cambridge household, to say the least.
Not that I necessarily object to their lavish salaries. The poor fuckers certainly earn it, after all. It’s estimated that the royals bring in over a billion pounds to the UK every year through tourism, charitable endeavours and the income of their extensive real estate portfolio. What’s more, they might not have a “job” in the traditional sense of the word, but they surely can’t be said to have much of an “existence” in the traditional sense, either. For all of the monarchy, life must just be one protracted series of awkward social events, where they have to shake hands with fawning strangers and feign interest in mind-numbingly tedious projects day after day. Sure, they might fly around the world in fancy-pants helicopters and ride in a limousine more times than the average Londoner takes an Uber (snark), but when the destination of these ostentatious journeys is the diplomatic equivalent of the dentist, some slack must be surely be cut. They may be the highest of the high, but it’s a shite state of affairs for them and all the fresh air in the world won’t make a blind bit of difference to that.
No, it’s not the pomp surrounding royal sprogs which gets the goat, it’s the circumstance – or, more accurately, lack of it. At the end of the day, what’s the takeaway headline here? Fertile woman proves fertility of womb once again? It’s hardly something to get yourself into a lather over. What does it really signify, other than one more mouth to feed, one more great-grandchild for Her Royal Highness to wave at and one more body for Meghan Markle to stuff into the boot of her car before she can get her scratchers on those crown jewels?
A whole lot of nothing, that’s what. If another privileged and pampered squirt is the sort of thing that floats your yacht, by all means gorge yourself on the media fervour and fill out your house with useless memorabilia so that you can remember this most forgettable of events. Just don’t try to show me photos of the fat little fucker.