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.
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