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Stories Before the Royal Birth: Some are Laboured, Some are Interesting and Some are a Pain

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When the royal baby arrives in Buckingham Palace seven months from now, Princess Catherine (popularly known as Kate Middleton) and Prince William need not worry about the gender of the child. By the time the stork visits the royal couple Britain would have made the process of royal succession gender neutral. Prince Harry would, of course, be the first member of the British royalty to be pushed down a notch in the line of succession even if it is princess to adorn the royal crib.

From all accounts the royal couple are in a state of bliss. They would have preferred to delay the announcement of Kate's pregnancy. But she had to be hospitalised for pregnancy related issues and, therefore, they wisely decided to kill the rumours by breaking the good news a tad early. But they, in any case became victims of a hoax.

Soon after Duchess Kate was hospitalised the staff of King Edward VII Hospital received a call. The hospital was made to believe that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles wanted to personally find out about the medical condition of Kate. The call was diverted to the Duchess' personal nurse who gave the callers a low down on her condition.

It was later revealed that two Australian radio DJs pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles had made the hoax call. The hospital later issued a statement expressing "deep regret".

It is going to be a monumental challenge for those charged with protecting the privacy of the royal couple to keep the paparazzi at bay. The snoops will try all the dirty tricks they know for obtaining juicy information about Kate's medical condition. You can place a safe bet on a 24/7 vigil outside (the more enterprising one's may even manage to sneak in) the hospital by inquisitive reporters and photographers. The hospital would do itself a huge favour if it were to keep an eye on the patients who are admitted after Kate Middleton's arrival.

However, the news which is now public knowledge has got street tongues wagging. Medical experts say that an extreme bout of morning sickness usually indicates twins or even triplets! It means the royal stork will have to carry a heavy load. Except for Buckingham Palace the rest of Britain is worrying itself grey or bald over the complications a twin arrival would create.

No, folks are not worried about Kate's health or the health of the maybe expected twins. On that count the mother and the yet-to-be born royal babies are in safe hands. Royal watchers are worried sick about how the palace will settle the succession issue. Will the baby that gets past the royal birth canal first be placed next to Prince William in the line of succession? Or the one who arrives second would pip the "first born" to the throne of England?

In purely medical terms there are two kinds of twin births. Identical twins are conceived simultaneously. However, in the case of twins conceived from two separate eggs it is presumed that the baby who comes later enjoys seniority. If Kate delivers identical twins the issue, literally, would become more complicated. Perhaps, a flip of the royal coin will settle the issue! Or will it? God forbid, if it is a C-section the baby who is picked up first by the royal gynaecologist will have to be accepted as Prince William's heir.

Celebritydirtylaundry.com has posted an interesting item concerning the royal conception. According to it royal eyebrows were raised when Kate made a public comment that she considers Angelina Jolie as her role model. Apart from being talented actors Angelina and Brad Pitt are known for their passion for adopting children. This made royal observers presume that Kate and William too may go in for adoption. But the throne of England cannot go to an adopted child. Therefore, the Queen intervened and "issued a royal command" that Kate must first produce a legal heir before giving adoption a serious thought. In other words Kate was forced to become pregnant through a royal decree. Of course, as the name of the website suggests this bit of juicy news should be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

A royal birth without a bit of juicy gossip would make the event dull. But as far as Kate and William are concerned even authentic news promises to be interesting. They are said to be delighted at the prospect of becoming royal parents. Nevertheless by way of abundant precaution the royal household should monitor the books the royal mother-to-be reads during her pregnancy. She should at least not be allowed to read the views of Queen Victoria, her great, great, great mother-in-law, on pregnancy and motherhood.

Queen Victoria was indeed a unique Monarch. It was love at first sight as far she was concerned. And she did remain passionately in love with Prince Albert until his last breath. This what she felt about Albert: "Without him everything loses its interest."

In spite of Victoria's uncontrollable temper and recurrent fits of depression, which usually occurred during and after pregnancy, the couple had a happy marriage. Is it possible to let Kate selectively read only this part of Queen Victoria's fascinating life? Her views on motherhood and pregnancy were anything but pleasant.

She called it the "shadow-side of marriage". In 1858 Victoria wrote to her eldest daughter in which she said:

"What you say of the pride of giving life to an immortal soul is very fine, dear, but I own I cannot enter into that; I think much more of our being like a cow or a dog at such moments; when our poor nature becomes so very animal and unecstatic."