A Newborn Prince and “If Only”

Hurrah! We have a newborn Prince in the land, Prince George of Cambridge!

What a beautiful bundle of joy he looks, at least from what we have seen of him so far! A healthy, sturdy, darling baby boy, safely delivered and lovingly welcomed into the hearts of his mother and father, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, his entire family, the world! A momentous occasion indeed!  Congratulations and God Bless you!

Although, watching the live news as William and Kate presented their son for the first time for all the world to see, beaming with that glowing pride that only brand new parents can understand, I had to steel myself slightly.

Kate’s polka dot dress.  The sapphire ring. The loving couple, exuding nothing but pride and love in and for each other and their son.  Indescribable joy in the now, hope for the future. Has it really been thirty-one years since that day in June, 1982, when Princess Diana, also wearing a polka dot dress, stood on that very same spot outside the same hospital doors with her then husband, Prince Charles, holding her newborn son William in her arms, giving the waiting world our first ever glimpse of the future King of England?

Charles, he of, “Whatever love means” (whatever that meant?) and she, Diana, so young, so tender, so in-love, William’s beloved mother.  It was an age of innocence, or so we thought.  How wrong we all were.

Now, here is William, a grown man with his own beautiful wife and precious baby boy.  Thirty one years have passed like a flash.  Nobody watching Charles and Diana on that happy day in 1982 could possibly have foreseen what was to come, and what a mercy for that.

In June, 1982, as I sat in front of the television eagerly anticipating the announcement of Prince William’s birth, I pondered my own pregancy, only four months away from delivering my first child. When he was born, I was overwhelmed by the instant rush of love I felt for my little boy, my own little ‘Prince’, from the minute he was born. I was totally, completely, utterly, in absolute and pure love and it was no less for his brother and sister to follow.

A mother’s love for her children never diminishes.  Nothing can break it.

Me With My Newborn Daughter and 2 Sons August 1992 (c) Copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Me With My Newborn Daughter and 2 Sons
August 1992
(c) Copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

This is the same love which William and Kate now have for their own son.  They may be Royal but they are still human and are not immune to the very powerful emotions which arrive with the baby.  I want to tell them, as I do every parent of a newborn, don’t let these moments, these years, go by without drawing out of them every single bit of goodness that you can, for these days will pass like a dream.

Yet, I wonder, what quiet thoughts and empty place of longing must there be sitting in a corner of William’s heart? What very private sadness must he silently nurture in that hidden place, a sadness that his own mother, Diana, is not there with him now, to share in this most precious and momentous time in his life, in the birth of his firstborn son and her firstborn grandson?

Above the happy noise of this jubilation he must surely hear the barely imperceptible whispers that ask the question borne out of deep regret, “If only she could be here”. This exquisite portrait, so magnificently painted with the most perfect of strokes, is tinged very slightly at the edges with the colours of a grief that fades over time, even as it bleeds into the surrounding hues, unnoticed.

Except to the trained eye.  An eye honed in the master-class of grief.   A grief that fades in time but never quite disappears. A grief that still shares a small part of the journey.

Diana is long gone. But she will never be forgotten and she lives on in her sons and grandson. Yesterday belonged to her.  Today belongs to her son William and his young family.

Now it is his turn.

I live for my sons. I would be lost without them  – Princess Diana

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer with work published in print magazines, anthologies and online. As a young British mum of three, she emigrated to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country, a full-time carer within her family. Her current WIP after completing her memoir is a psychological thriller.
This entry was posted in Childhood Memories, Current Affairs, Family Life, Musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to A Newborn Prince and “If Only”

  1. tieshka says:

    Sherri, what a great blog today! I too was thinking of Princess Di when Kate delivered. I was a very big fan of hers.. woke up at the crack of dawn to watch her get married- remembered her having the boys- and the car accident in Paris. I’m glad her legacy lives on in her grand child George (as well as her own children).


    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Tieshka, and yes, I did just the same as you! I was living in the States for Diana’s wedding and I remember getting up in the small hours too and then having to go straight into work but it didn’t matter! Then staying up all night to watch the news of the awful car accident in Paris. Who can forget that? Her legacy does indeed live on in her boys, all three of them! Thank you for sharing your Princess Di story here 🙂


  2. mumblypeg says:

    Your words are truly beautiful and from the heart, expressing so sweetly the very strong bond of parents’ love for their children. It rarely dies. I am sure you are correct and William will have a sad time of reflection about his own mother. She would be a stunning grandmother! Her legacy is for all to see in her sons. They are a credit to her. Bless you for sharing you thoughts. xxx


    • Sherri says:

      Thank you mumblypeg for sharing your thoughts here. Princess Diana touched so many of us and continues to do so through her sons and now through her grandson. Whatever else happened, one thing is absoultely certain, she adored her two boys and her love for them will be carried in their hearts all their lives. xxx


  3. You know I love anything British, so I love this blog post. I remember getting up early to see both Diana’s and William’s wedding days. I placed the wedding day on my calendar so nothing would interfere with my watching. We don’t have a monarchy here in the U.S., but I just get so caught up in the “magic” of it all. It’s like a fairy tale with all the pomp and pageantry. I wish for the new little Prince George to grow up healthy and happy.


    • Sherri says:

      What a lovely comment Bev, thank you for sharing your ‘royal family’ story here and yes, I do know how much you love all things British! I don’t think I met one person in the States in all the years I lived there who didn’t and especially their love for Princess Diana. Reading about her when I lived there was my link to ‘home’. Yes, let’s hope and pray that sweet little Pince George does indeed have a happy, healthy life. William & Kate will make wonderful parents. Now we just can’t wait to see all the photos 🙂


  4. Lesley Dawson says:

    What a lovely post, Sherri. Prince William (Duke of Cambridge), Kate (Duchess of Cambridge) and Prince George make such a happy family picture. I agree, it’s so sad that Princess Diana is not here to share in the happiness of the arrival of her grandson, but I’m sure that the love she showed will always be felt amongst them. It will be nice to follow the little prince at all the milestones in his life.


    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Lesley, so glad you enjoyed reading this and thanks for sharing your thoughts! I agree, Princess Diana’s legacy of love will certainly remain with them all and I’m sure that Prince George will be told all about his wonderful Granny. The Cambridge family do look so blissfully happy and relaxed. Their marriage is so very different to that of Charles & Diana isn’t it? Yes, we shall all be glued to every news report of the little prince’s progress. Can’t wait 🙂


      • Lesley Dawson says:

        The marriage of Charles and Diana was more like an arranged marriage, whereas that of Kate and William is a natural love match. I think the Royal Family learned a lot from what happened to Princess Diana and how their popularity could so easily be shattered. They seem more relaxed now and in touch with the public. I have a soft spot for Prince Philip and he makes me laugh with all the blunders that he can’t seem to help making. 🙂


  5. super post. nostalgia fills my heart and mind …awesome …life lives on!


  6. jennypellett says:

    Very well said, Sherri. You are so right when you say those years flash by as if in a dream. My own baby turns 23 next month – whatever happened in between?! Let’s wish the royal couple much happiness with their lovely boy and hope that the media give them much deserved privacy.


    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Jenny, and yes, very good question, whatever did happen in between? Your baby is close in age to my two youngest (as in the photo above) being 24 for my son and my baby about to turn 21! How did that happen??!! Still, they keep us young, right?!! So far I think that there is just the right balance between the press and the new royal family, let’s hope it stays that way!


  7. Lyn says:

    I was thinking similar thoughts Sherri, when the world was waiting for Prince George to be born. What joy and indeed, what grief William must have felt that his mother wasn’t there. She was such a devoted mother, and, if I may be so bold as to say it, far too good for Charles. I’m very much afraid, I have no respect for him at all. Thank God, William is such a levelheaded, loving young man and so like his mother.


    • Sherri says:

      Thank you very much Lyn for sharing your thoughts here. I felt this overwhelming need to write about what was in my heart having read all the usual ‘stuff’ in the papers and hearing all about it on the news. What was going through my mind was the day that young (15?) William and Harry had to walk behind their mother’s coffin and all the while seeing that sweet letter on the top with the single word ‘Mummy’ written on it. I could weep now just thinking of that moment.
      William is so very happy now with his beautiful wife and son but how he must miss his Mummy. I agree with you about Charles. That is why I wanted to be sure to get that little dig in. What was he thnking? Diana truly was like a lamb to the slaughter.
      But…her two wonderful boys have grown into fine young men with their mother’s stamp all over them – her undying legacy! In little Prince George and all that his birth brings, let’s hope and pray that the pain of the past can at last be healed, for the most part anyway.


  8. Kay Wilson says:

    What a sweet post and love all the comments. I’m sure there will always be a day when they think of Diana and wish she could be there for little Prince George. Have always watched the Royal Familywith great admiration.


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