Royal Pains – Where’s the Heir and the Spare?

26 Jun

Text, Vivian Kelly

Last night, I did something embarrassing, After the Gym, I dropped into Stop & Shop to buy egg whites [still following those Dukan Diet menus] and left with the Globe. I ate the $3.79 price for the Fleet Street style rag because the cover moved me.

“William’s Wife Snaps! Kate: ‘Now I know how Diana felt’

For the Globe, the article was surprisingly thorough.

The spread [p. 34-5] did a nice job comparing and contrasting the two Royal Brides’ respective experiences in the Royal pressure cooker.

In 1995, years after her glittering 1981 wedding, Diana famously ripped the façade off  about her “perfect life” and told all to BBC’s Martin Bashir on the Nov. 20 edition of its critically acclaimed news show Panorama. The interview shocked the world. In it, Diana talked about her struggles and unhappiness, including: depression, bulimia, and multiple suicide attempts, and her affair.

The interview marked her emancipation from the Royal Family, but she only got to enjoy her freedom for two years.  After a night of clubbing, she and her boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed were killed in the collision in a tunnel under the Place de l’Alma in Paris. According to an article in, “The princess’ Mercedes car was apparently being pursued at high speed by photographers on motorbikes when it hit a pillar and smashed into a wall.”

Back to the present. In a way, Kate’s got it worse, as she’s nearly 30 and that old biological clock has started ticking away. The Globe piece makes mention of “her staggering weight loss that has sparked fears she is anorexic. She down to a shocking 98 lbs.”

Time to add a few carbs to the Dukan diet, Kate.

The obsession with producing a boy child was one of the central topics in the wildly successful ‘The Tudors’ Showtime TV series. King Henry went as far as acknowledging one of his mistresses’ sons, giving him the title of Duke and installing him in a gorgeous country castle. It was hard not to be moved by his pain when the adorable boy died of the plague at age five. Henry even had the love of his life, Ann Boleyn executed because she couldn’t deliver a boy. Even Kings don’t get everything they want and Henry finally settled on Elizabeth as his heir, treating her better than anyone else, and rather like a boy.

Maybe some of you can’t bring yourselves to empathize, but consider this, “the heir and a spare” syndrome is one many women who are not Royals also face. In fact, not producing them can be a deal breaker in a marriage. Some women [myself] produced the heir and spare, but they were girls. Many non-Royals consider their families dynasties of sorts and openly admit to “trying until I get the boy’, some even resorting to years of agonizing fertility treatments.

Unfortunately, The Globe isn’t yet giving it away, hence no Internet link I can share with you, but here’s a pic of the cover.

I hope next time I read about Kate she’ll have put on a few pounds, and that the Royal Handlers will let her live a little. Shame on them for not letting her a little fun on her recent trip to Hollywood!

Better still, they should allow Kate and sissi Pippa go on a weeklong good will tour of the USA, hitting the major Cities: NY, LA, Chicago, D.C. Now THAT would be a real crowd-pleaser and do great things for the Royal Image.


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