Tuesday, October 25, 2011

HRH Mommy Kate... or Not.

Matt and I rather got into a tiff recently regarding the fertility of the new Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton (or Mountbatten-Windsor, if you want to be technical about it). Seems a strange topic for us, I know, especially considering that we're not English, but all of the tabloids here in the US seem so interested in the Duchess's fertility, or lack there of, that we couldn't help ourselves. So, while standing at the checkout at Wal-Mart, reading that Prince William and his new bride are simply overjoyed at being pregnant with twins--another false report, from the fine folks at Star--the debate began.

I suggested, in passing, that it was a shame that she was being treated like this and that there is something ridiculous about expecting her to have babies at all. I mean, who knows, she may want to be childfree, right? Please understand, this in no way suggests that she actually does want to be childfree, because I don't know, it was a hypothetical. It's much more likely, in fact, that she wants to be a mother, as many women do. It's not the point at all, really. The point is that I feel like it's unfair for it to be expected of her, her feelings aside.

Matt adamantly disagreed. He said that she knew when accepting the job of a princess, and marrying a man who stood in line for the throne, a man who will someday be King of England, what she was getting herself into. He contends that she understood what was expected of her, and consented to those expectations by accepting a prince as her husband. He's absolutely unwilling to relent on this point, he believes it's the case and won't be swayed... got to love a man with convictions, I guess.

The problem for me is that he's suggesting that her marrying the man she loves is somehow accepting a job. Like getting married is the same as becoming a secretary or a school teacher. Further, I take issue with the fact that that particular job should be accompanied by the expectation that she'll produce children. How many other jobs require you to have babies to keep them?! She's a person, not a stock animal.  When I said she should be able to marry whomever she wants and still have choices, he said, "right, but she choose to marry a prince and a prince comes with responsibilities." We went round and round for hours, each defending our sides, and though I think he ultimately won the argument, I still have a problem with the idea that she should have to do something she may or may not want to do as a form of patriotic responsibility.

So I suggested that this is the year 2011, not 1601, and people should be able to make their own choices, even royal people--I mean, Queen Elizabeth didn't have children!! He said, "Yeah, and look how well the Elizabeth thing turned out!! Besides, this isn't the real world we're talking about, it's fairyland where people have titles like prince, princess, duke and duchess. In fairyland, princesses are expected to have babies to propagate the royal line." Okay, he has a point, right, I mean we're not talking about every day situations, here. In everyday situations, people almost always have a right to make their own decisions. This is where the argument started to break down, and he started to win. I hate it when he wins!

So I tried again by explaining that I thought she should have a right to marry whomever she wants, without pretense, because even though this isn't the real world these people are living in, she's still a person. Oops, that was the wrong thing to say, because he came back with this gem, "it's not different than a person marrying someone who's childfree, with the understanding that so-doing would mean that they would have no children." He asked me what I thought would happen if, in the childfree scenario, one of the people changed their mind, to which I replied they would probably get a divorce. Yeah, exactly, that was his point. I asked him what he thought would happen if Kate decided she didn't want to have children, even if she did accept the idea initially, to which he replied that she should find another husband.

His only concession was to infertility. He agreed that if she were found to be infertile, due to circumstances that were out of her control, that it would just be bad luck for the crown. He didn't think that that circumstance would breed divorce, though he held fast to the idea that she was probably checked out before he was allowed to marry her to make sure that a) she could have babies, and b) wasn't with child at the time of the marriage. Still, things happen, right?

Whatever the case may be, whether she wants kids or not, I wish the tabloids would just leave her alone. I mean, why is it news to Americans that she's pregnant, or in this particular case, not pregnant? Other than the whole, every girl loves a fairy tale thing. Truthfully, I never was all that interested in the royal marriage, though I must say, she's growing on me. At first, I was incredibly put off by her wearing Princess Di's jewelry, particularly her ring, because I adored Princess Di and was quite broken up when she died. No one will replace her, and I've come to the conclusion that Kate's not really trying to. She seems like a lovely person and though she will always be a person of interest, I just wish it was less interest to rag mags that continually lie about what may or may not be happening in her newly-royal womb.