Coffee House

The royal baby greets the press – with a Churchill salute

23 July 2013

9:09 PM

23 July 2013

9:09 PM

I like his style already. Keeps the press waiting for two weeks, and then gives the press a two-fingered flick of a greeting. His parents had just a few minutes on the hospital steps, but played it perfectly. Prince William held the baby, joked about how his son has more hair than he does, strapped the baby seat in to the back of the car (anyone who has done this before will know how much practise the manoeuvre requires) and then drove off himself – rather than be driven off. It’s enough to soften the heart of the most ardent republican*. “I’m calling it,” wrote Helen Lewis, the ever-readable deputy editor of the New Statesman. “Kate’s not human. She’s too perfect.”  The BBC this morning inserted “as things stand” as a caveat before saying that lad was born to be king. Technically, it is justified – who can tell what the next 70 years will bring? But the monarchy’s approval rating is 80pc, the Queen’s is 90pc and  it seems to have regained – as an institution – its power as a unifying force. Thanks to the conduct of the Queen and her grandson, the chances of our new royal having a crown to inherit are fairly high.

*I exclude from this coo-fest our own Rod Liddle, who has just filed his column for the new issue of The Spectator. “It’s times like this that I feel estranged from the country, nay the world,” he writes. “Hell, the Canadians turned the Niagara Falls blue. Thank the Lord it was a boy, then – a vast psychedelic pink river might have made the entire population of Buffalo spontaneously vomit…’

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Show comments
  • Sanctimony

    When a sproglet is born to one of the multitudinous princelings who hail from the Gulf… I wonder whether there will be this clamour to ponder over the naming of the infant, bearing in mind that the prince involved doesn’t even remember which wife he impregnated; I would suggest appropriate names which might be considered could be: Maserati, Ferrari, Rolex, Dolce or Gabbana, etc etc.

    Channel 4 News could rush over to Dubai, or Riyadh, for the birth-watch, without the cynical and snide observations of Jon Snow’s blonde coquette, who sneered so endlessly outside the Lindo Wing during the recent royal gestation….

    A grand finale would be the announcement of the morning and evening Ramadan prayer observations with an endorsement from the Archbish of Canterbury.

    Long live ecumenism !

  • Sanctimony

    Having just watched Channel 4’s 7o’clock news and the advice about Muslim dawn and dusk prayer times, I feel that the young royals, with only four names, have left space for the insertion of an Abdullah or Faisal in the new infant’s moniker….

    Puke inducing, or what !

  • Frank P

    You might have told your photoshopper to produce just one finger, the ol’ ‘numero uno’ , the dirty digit, rather than the two fingers of derision. Much more “twenty-first century’. Could you have that last phrase put on the Index Expurgatorius, by the way (you seem to be well connected); its ubiquitous use is now irritating to the point of nausea. What’s wrong with “now”.

  • Nick

    William Hill the bookies were giving odds of 150/1 for the baby to be called either Wayne or Waynetta…….I didn’t place a bet.

    My 3 year old granddaughter reckons the royal baby will be named Billy (because that’s her best friends name at nursery).And if it’s not Billy,she says it will either be the Incredible Hulk or Spiderman.

    Going off on a tangent,how many members of the press does it take to take a photograph of a baby? Talk about overkill in Crazy Street where there were dozens of the salivating vultures perched on step ladders.

    Now the vermin have flown to Kensington Palace where they will hover like flying rodents and take the same pictures of the baby.Will the baby look any different today or tomorrow one wonders?
    I feel sorry for Wills,Kate and baby Wayne having to endure that bloody lot for the rest of their lives.
    Here’s a thought.Vote me into power and I’ll set up concentration camps for the press,Muslim extremists and Rupert Murdoch to reside in,where I’d exterminate them gradually.

    • HookesLaw

      The press? Who knows, but I would not bother to complain – the press considers itself above independent regulation.

      • Nick

        Very true,which is one reason why I can’t stand them.The press consider themselves above the law and they also believe that we,the public need them when in fact we need very little of what they produce.

  • john

    The baby is almost fully skilled as a royal – he can wave and smile! Add a pair of scissors for ribbon-cutting and he’s ready to take over.

  • Shoe On Head

    curiously, the nations IQ dropped 20 points yesterday.

    more curiously, the duchess’s body still looks harder than chinese mathematics. god-bless you ma’am!

    (i really hope the new royal baby boy isn’t named shoe-on-head. i do not want hear “aww, you’re named after the royal baby”!)

    (shoe on head)

  • John Lea

    And in other news, North Korea and Iran both detonated nuclear warheads, triggering what many are aleady referring to as ‘world war 3’. But before we speak with our correspondent in Tehran, here’s Pippa Middleton on how to make the perfect bellini.

    • george

      What’s a bellini, and how do you wear it?

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Given his grandfather’s preferences and the prevalence of the name among newborns nowadays he should be called Mohammad.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Oh screw it, it’s time for a reprise. Just call him “Longshanks II: The Hammer of the Scots Returns”. That should get the referendum off to a flying start.

  • stanedeid

    How about calling it Saxe Coburg Gotha?

  • Robert Taggart

    Winston Cambridge ?

  • Magnolia

    The irreverent tone from The Spectator is not attractive at the present time.
    It jars as much as the BBC reeling out the R word.
    The realm needed another heir and it now has one.
    Where is the sense of History and yes, majesty?
    Must we always be offered blokey comment?
    Pushing out a baby is bl***y horrid work and some dignity for the mother’s feelings is called for.
    Get Mr Moore asap.

    • Shoe On Head

      subjects, dear boy. do not pay one iota of heed to these people who call themselves citizens. specifically, those waving a copy of private-eye’s “woman has baby” outside lindo.

      (god bless you ma’am)

      (shoe not on head)

    • HookesLaw

      And the birth of this child has saved us the never ending expense of repeated presidential elections where the candidates are a bunch of blank jobsworths.

  • kyalami

    He will be Prince Sean. Go put money on it at the bookies and make a fortune.

    Or possibly Knut.

  • M. Wenzl

    All my very best to them. In time, I say we abolish parliamentary democracy, appoint the young princeling king, with the power to overhaul the ‘progressive’ establishment — which will be no better accomplished by having him raise an army to march on Brussels!

  • sunnydayrider

    Can’t wait for “Pulitzer Pippas” column. Imminent is it Frazer?

  • john

    It occurs to me that the car seat for baby is a post-modern preoccupation. In the past, baby would have been in the back seat in his mother’s arms. I’m sure it’s just as safe and more reassuring.

  • David Lindsay

    I have just been passed the piece of paper. You may expect an official announcement in the next few days. A warm welcome to His Royal Highness Prince Niall Zayn Liam Harry Louis Justin of Cambridge.

  • David Lindsay

    Carole Middleton’s Sunderland-born mother’s parents were a Durham miner and the daughter of a Durham miner. That gives our future King a claim easily outranking those made by many a speaker at the Gala over the years.

    Three or four decades from now, I for one greatly look forward to hearing him address that event from the platform. Doubtless, that platform will still be bearing its customary advertisement for the Morning Star.

    It is inconceivable that his ancestors did not attend the Big Meeting every year, marching behind a colliery band and banner. It is beyond unlikely that his relatives, known or otherwise, do not still turn up to it.

    They could give him a bed for the night before, thereby saving the Durham Miners’ Association the usual expense of accommodating a speaker in the Royal County Hotel.

    • telemachus

      Power from the people

      • David Lindsay


        The one earlier this month was the biggest Big Meeting in decades, with at least 150,000 people cheering on 50 bands and 80 banners, some of which were still arriving at the racecourse four hours after the first one had set out. The route is a mile, if it is that long.

        A giant inflatable pillar box was prominent, and the podium itself was
        festooned with a silhouette of the Queen’s head, as part of a banner
        reading Save Our Royal Mail. In fact, Ricky Tomlinson, Owen Jones, Bob Crow, Len McCluskey and the rest were speaking directly above the word “Royal” as well as the outline of Her Majesty’s image.

        Another banner bearing the same slogan was also on the platform, with the usually central advertisement for the Morning Star between them. Its edition, distributed free (the Durham Miners’ Association part-owns it), contained the following letter:

        Flogging Mail treason

        The proposal to sell off the Royal Mail is nothing less than an act
        of treason. Royal Mail goes back to 1516, the reign of Henry VIII.

        I am surprised that Prince Charles or even the Queen herself has not
        spoken out against this gross act of treachery. Who will be the
        benefactors [
        sic, alas] of the sale? The state-owned Deutsche Post? Russian racketeers? US freebooters or dodgy hedge funds? Arab sheiks?

        A positive way forward would be to bring TNT, City Link and the many other white van companies under the general control of our postal services. Among other things, one benefit would be to reduce the traffic on our roads and the pollution it causes.

        Brian Ormondroyd


        He seems to be a fairly regular correspondent, writing in line with the editorial policy of the Morning Star. As here, in fact. The term “Royal Mail” reverberated through the day’s speeches.

        • HookesLaw


        • the viceroy’s gin

          Oh, and maybe it’d be best if you hard Left envirowhacko nutters quit banging on about the mail, in addition to your global warmingist kookiness. The world is passing snail by the wayside, lad.

          But it will never pass by the need for energy, and best that energy be provided close at hand. That’s assuming you truly mean those words “power from the people”, but as we all know you lefty nutters don’t really believe that, and merely want power over the people.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘Carole Middleton’s Sunderland-born mother’s parents’

      So we are obsessing about The Duchess of Cambridgeshire’s grandmother’s mother whose father was a miner?
      I have closer links than that, my father was a miner and I can assure you I have no intention of speaking at the Durham gala.

    • Noa

      I doubt he will be contemplating mining as a boutique career of choice.

      Here is the list of Durham coal mines alone for 1908.

      And here in the mines listed in the UK in 1991

      In 1900 the Durham Miners Association had 80,000 members. Subsequently it became part of the National Union of Mineworkers, which, in 2011 had just 1,855 members nationally.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …maybe someday the infant royal, his relatives and ancestors, the Miners’ Association, the band, the Big Meeting attendees, the County Hotel clerk and all the rest can quit supporting you hard Left envirowhacko nutters who want nothing more than the destruction of that colliery, due to its evil and dastardly carbon-producing ways.

      Ya’ think?

  • john

    I expect that Will has a pink shirt and Kate a pink dress to wear, somewhere, which would have been worn in the event of a girl…. The pink dress would also have had white polka dots, to echo the dress that Diana wore over three decades ago.

    Does anyone believe that at this point they still haven’t decided on the name of the child? I don’t. Names are always important, but especially so for a child upholding or maintaining a lineage in which names are so important. Kate strikes me as very modern and (obviously) very fashion-conscious as well as very tasteful, so she probably wants a tasteful name, and a name she can like. Not old-fashioned, like Arthur, Walter, or Roger, or recent (in terms of kings) and over-familiar, like George and Philip. It also has to be regal so it won’t be Nigel, Trevor, Forrest. It won’t be too unusual/biblical, so unlikely to be David, Joshua, Mark, or Peter. Michael is also not precedented in Britain. Alexander as well smacks too much of the foreign. Christopher is too ordinary: Christian would be better, except that it sounds vaguely Scandinavian and possibly religious. It shouldn’t be Henry: we’ve had enough of those. Or Edward: ditto. James is a lovely name and I’d plonk for that. And if not, for John. John is a strong, traditional, masculine name both demotic and aristocratic (and biblical, while we’re at it), and we’ve only had one John. Perhaps this John could redeem the name.

    As for Kate being too perfect: she is a naturally stunning person, in face and figure; but is also so preternaturally radiant that one might almost think she was a rich princess, lucky in love, pampered and deferred to and accommodated at every turn, with no worries and only the best of everything. If I had her blessings, I’d probably smile all the time, too.

    • pedestrianblogger

      I would go for James but the redemption thing would be a tall order. For King Billy to be succeeded by a James would be to stretch the loyalty of our friends in Ulster to breaking point.

      • HookesLaw

        Why should you think that prince William would be known as King William?
        Indeed on the subject of Albert, the Queens own father (George VI) was known as Bertie and christened Albert Frederick Arthur George.

        • David Lindsay

          But it was still considered too German, even in 1936. He had to have George, even though he had a brother called George.

          One of Prince Charles’s middle names is Arthur. I know what I’d do if I were in that position and I were going to be King.

          • telemachus

            Telemachus and all associates favour Joseph

            • David Lindsay


            • The Laughing Cavalier


              • telemachus

                The hero of the Great Patriotic War

                • The Laughing Cavalier

                  In that case his middle names should be Adolf and Zedong so as to include the others in the triumvirate of the greatest mass murderers of all time.

                • Wessex Man

                  What on earth do you think you are doing? you are only giving this fool the publicity she craves!

          • HookesLaw


            Albert is too German? On the other hand George is not too Hanoverian?
            What rubbish you talk.

          • Wessex Man

            started yet?

      • Robert Taggart

        For friends read ‘friends’ ?!

    • Ridcully

      I’m guessing that Prince Albert will be a no-no.

      • john

        I think Victoria abused her place in decreeing that no king should ever be called Albert: she had no right. But never mind: Kate won’t be attracted to ‘Albert’, anyway. It’s worse than Arthur, which sounds naff but at least has mythical romance attached to it.

        • Robert Taggart

          Alfred Arthur Athelstan Windsor ?!

          • Mazzzz

            Aaaw! – LOL

      • Daniel Maris

        Prince Albert? It has a certain ring to it.

  • Daniel Maris

    As I said on another thread, I am a rational supporter of the monarchy as a neutral conduit for power and a focus for the nation.

    But no one knows where we will be in 70 years’ time. No doubt if you’d tested the popularity of the monarchy in 1610 it would have been high…35 years later we had a republic.

    The Muslim population increased between 2001 and 2011 by 60% to 2.9 million. If that part of our community were to continue increasing at that rate decade by decade, in 70 years’ time, in 2081, the Muslim population will be 73.9 million. I am not predicting that will come about – it seems unlikely. But there is no doubt the UK will be a very different country by then, very likely with Islam as the largest religion. What possible meaning could an Anglican Monarch have in that context?

    • pedestrianblogger

      Yes. I wonder what our new Caliph will be called.

      • john


      • Shazza


      • Sanctimony

        Abdul or Faisal, no doubt…. given the current PC plague afflicting us.

    • john

      Or even just an Anglo-Saxon monarch, never mind the religion.

      • David Lindsay

        This will be the first of those in almost, if almost, exactly a thousand years.

        From 1066, there was a procession of monarchs as French as their consorts, followed by two Welshmen, three of the second of whose
        children sat on the Throne at different times. Two of those children never married, while the third was half-Spanish and married the King of Spain. Then came a dynasty of Scots with numerous foreign marriages, one of them to a Dutchman with whom she reigned jointly.

        After that, a series of Germans married to Germans, albeit in one case a German who had to claim to be Danish for political reasons, not in Britain, but in Denmark; her husband’s successor was married to an unambiguous, if London-born, German.

        (Another German ancestress was visibly part-black without any self-consciousness, while the first Welshman’s wife had Moorish antecedents such that the Royal Family is descended from Muhammad.)

        Bringing us into the present Queen’s lifetime. Her mother had plenty of English in her Scottishness, but then her father had never been expected to inherit. She herself has a husband one of whose sisters was married to a Luftwaffe pilot while another was married to an SS officer.

        But the Duke of Cambridge’s mother came from one of the greatest dynasties in English history; from the old Whig oligarchy that stitched up the succession for the present line but has only ever regarded it as an unfortunate political necessity, a clan of obvious parvenus and nouveau riche immigrants. “The People’s Princess” was the exact opposite of the truth: to herself and, not least, to her brother, Diana had married down.

        And now, the Duchess of Cambridge. The next monarch but two, already in this world, will be three-quarters “Anglo-Saxon”. England will not have not seen the like since 1066.

        • Wessex Man

          my your knowledge of these facts know no ends David Lindsay, thanks very much for educating us, tell you what you should write a book about it!

          • HookesLaw

            So obsessive you wonder why he cares so much.

        • HookesLaw

          How many hundreds of years ago was 1066?

          In 1066 ‘we’ were invaded by the Normans, not the French, who won, and British life evolved. And as for consorts Henry I (who was born in England) married Matilda of Scotland.

          Why do you obsess about the dim and distant history? The Normans were Vikings and thus part of a long British tradition and before that we had Anglo Saxons and then the Romano-British.
          Of course from our present perspective there was no ‘we’ back then. We today are a product of our history.

          • Chrissy

            Um, Normans as in Normandy, France, correct? They may have started as Vikings but they’d been in France for a while.

        • The Laughing Cavalier

          The Duchess of Cambridge may become Queen to her husband, the King, but she will never be the Monarch.

    • Shoe On Head

      nation states will not exist, sir

      you cannot fight exponential economics.

      • Daniel Maris

        Similar arguments were put forward for the domination of world wide empires in the 19th century.

  • Dan Grover

    Whatever your views on republicanism are, a young family has just had a healthy young child. Good for them!

    • john

      ‘just had a … young child’. Strange way to put it. Nobody gives birth to an old child, does she? I think the word you were looking for is ‘baby’.

      • HookesLaw

        George Alexander Louis.

        The big surprise is only 3 names. Maybe they will tag on a 4th by the Christening.
        Perhaps they have signed a contract with the BBC for a TV series to devise the most popular – Strictly Britain’s Got the Naming Factor On Ice
        Presented by Sir Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson

        • john

          Well, I’m a bit disappointed, but I suppose it could be worse.

        • David Lindsay

          I am tickled by that Battenberg middle name. All that is missing is a Spencer one.

          • Dan Grover

            I wanted Joffrey 🙁

    • reb1rth

      A privileged family who use their position to make a fortune out of the media hype and mind-numbing stories.

  • toco10

    Absolutely pitch perfect Fraser.