Friday, 23 October 2015

Seven Quick Takes 20: The Duchess and I

Seven topics I'd discuss with the Duchess of Cambridge at our children's wedding. I'm calling that Seven Quick Takes. I did four in a row - I deserve a little slack :)

As soon as I knew the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to a girl, I had to give serious thought to my role as mother to her future husband. For example, what name would look good on a commemorative tea towel? I've been contemplating the moment when the other royals and the Beckhams have gone home, and the Duchess and I are sitting with our feet up on the sofa in Windsor Castle (she will have kicked off her four-inch heels; I will have slid off my one inch sensible shoes that I spent a month practicing in). And we'll think back to 2014-15...

Duchess: Hyperemesis gravidarum was a terribe. I was prostrate in bed in Kensington Palace.
Me: I thought people who said you didn't deserve sympathy hadn't ever had 'morning' sickness. I only wished I could be hospitalized. Three months of twenty-four hour nausea, vomiting violently at least once a day, trying not to throw up on my students, even when they deserved it - I would have taken a palace bed and doctors on call, but I didn't begrudge you. There should be palace accommodation for all mothers with morning sickness - maybe you should call the NHS and suggest it.

Duchess: I felt so fat at the end.
Me: I looked like I was expecting you.

And Charlotte weighed more than Alcuin...

Duchess: Facing the cameras the same day I gave birth was scary.
Me: I didn't even let anyone take a picture of me the day I gave birth. My eldest graduated two days later, and we took photos outside. My husband put one of me on Facebook without permission - if I hadn't needed him to help take care of the baby, I would have murdered him.

If she was twelve years older and it was her third child, she would so have looked like this.

Duchess: And then the christening. Pushing that pram in high heels was hard work.
Me: While you were doing that, I was hobbling around my parents' house bemoaning the fact that all those youth-giving pregnancy hormones had finally worn off, and my hip pain had come back.

The pram my mother wishes I had.

Duchess: The Archbishop was fairly accommodating.
Me: Well, we did have a canon of Salisbury Cathedral.

Duchess: I was a little worried Charlotte would spit up on my cream suit.
Me: I was fat and flustered in a charity shop dress I bought because it was the only thing that almost fitted and had buttons so I could breastfeed. I had to keep mouthing at my husband to cover up my bra straps while I was holding the baby.

We flew thousands of miles for this moment.

Duchess: I need a pick-me-up after all that. Fancy a little champagne from His Majesty's cellars? I hid this bottle behind the sofa. And please, call me Kate.
Me: Don't mind if I do, Kate.

Phew, made it to the end of Link-toberfest. "Mommy blogger" should not be a name of derision - I don't know how many of the people who link up week after week find time for one regular post, let alone several.
Kelly's question of the week is : What is your most popular post? Curiously, it's this mini-post. A close second is this series on one of my favourite children's authors, E. Nesbit: "More than Just Red Flannel Petticoats" - parts one and two.

Hop on over to This Ain't the Lyceum for good reads and prizes!


  1. Ha ha ha!! I absolutely LOVE HRH Duchess Kate!

  2. Oh Susan, Alquin's Christening was beautiful and I'm very proud to be his Godmother! We've joked about Jr. marrying princess Charlotte, so it looks like the race is on...!