Why America's Gone Royal Baby Crazy

Call it some sort of lapsed historical sentiment; maybe we sort of wish, in America, that we had our own royals, even as we attempt to replace kings and queens with Kennedys and Kardashians.

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Have you heard? Of course you have heard! The Pope is having a baby! No, no, no ... the Pope is on Twitter. Kate Middleton—Duchess Catherine of Cambridge—is pregnant! There will be a royal baby! We are very, very excited as a collective America about this.

Middleton's pregnancy is in the very early stages, according to the Daily Mail, and "Royal sources said that while the couple are happy, they are also nervous ... it would not have been announced at this time had it not been for the fact that she had been taken to hospital." Middleton is reportedly suffering severe morning sickness, which can't be pleasant, and there must be some additional discomfort given the public spectacle related to the news and her hospitalization now. But mainly, what people have paid attention to given this announcement is not privacy or sensitivity or severe morning sickness but: ROYAL BABY. One million squees. We can't help ourselves. We're not just baby crazy, we're royal baby crazy.

Is it any surprise, really? Even in America, a country created with the purpose of getting away from all that king-and-queenliness, we're so thrilled about this news that we can't keep ourselves from audibly gasping, or from creating innumerable parody Twitter accounts@RoyalFetus, there you go—or from using the word "preggers," or from begging others no longer to use the word "preggers." A royal baby bump! We knew it! Surely somewhere in the darkest lairs of the tabloid weeklies, staffers are engaging in group hugs, high-fives, popping champagne or clandestinely weeping. Perhaps the same is true at Time, for their accurate prediction. The Daily Mail saw the pregnancy in Kate's haircut recently. Regardless of whether any of us had money riding on it, it has happened! Royal baby jokes are being made. Royal baby names are being anticipated. Will it be a girl or a boy? Will it have a nanny? Who will it look like? The articles are being written; the playlists curated. Do you want live coverage? There is live coverage. The hashtag of the moment appears to be #royalbaby; with luck and hope, the baby's name will not be Hashtag. There is no end to the joyous madness, equal to, and even ready to trump, long term or short, the excitement surrounding the royal wedding that took place in April of 2011, just a bit more than a year ago. There's something weird that this taps into, a latent desire to see the propagation of the species carried out in some grand way, perhaps; or maybe it's about the fantasy of the civilian and the prince she marries, becoming a princess, and the life we hope they might have. It's intriguing, at the very least, and unimaginable; it seems like a fairy tale in a lot of ways. And we love fairy tales. So maybe we just can't help being fascinated.

And, of course, with or without all the public interest, it's great that Kate and Wills are pregnant; presumably that was part of the plan all along. It's also great that because the British Commonwealth recently changed the rules that give boys precedence over girls as rulers in the line, a baby daughter could be Britain's next queen, regardless of whether she ever gets a little brother. And it's great that the world has some 9 months now to plan and get really, really, really excited for what may be one of the most thrilling days in our modern lives: The day the Royal Baby is born. What shall we paint its room? Will it be a brunette or a redhead? What will Pippa wear to its christening? What kind of uncle will Harry be? We can't wait to meet it!

Why are we all so excited about a baby that's not ours, that we'll never meet, that isn't even an American citizen? Call it some sort of lapsed historical sentiment; maybe we sort of wish, in America, that we had our own royals, even as we attempt to replace kings and queens with Kennedys and Kardashians. Maybe it's that Wills and Kate are so young, so adorable, and seem to be quite in love, or at least, we can imagine they are. Maybe it's that we all loved Diana, and this is her grandchild. Or maybe it's just A BABY. A ROYAL BABY. Is there any cuter kind? Is anyone not excited? And if so, what's wrong with him or her? I mean, it's almost like we're all having our own royal baby, right? Except, without the severe morning sickness. Hang in there, Kate. We're thinking of you, obviously.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.