Wednesday, 24 April 2013 18:52

Musing over Kate the Fake Middleton' baby bump

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kate-flowersDo you think that Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William, is pregnant herself, or using a surrogate?

I have no idea myself.
But I am not the only person on the planet wondering.
I am, however, only one of a very few people who dare to wonder out loud, and under my own name.
Everyone else is focusing on her clothes.
This past Sunday, Kate appeared in full face-paint to stand in for the Queen at the National Review of the Queen’s Scouts at Windsor Castle. It was an outdoor affair, and Kate wore a minidress-jacket the color of mint ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce, which may be a good thing if you are craving something like that, but if you don’t particularly care for that kind of minty, cloying sundae, you might wrinkle your nose even at an outfit that just looks like one.
Only because the minty-chocolate jacket had side-slits did we catch a glimpse of what appeared to be a miniskirt beneath it. Or something. And so short! To some, it appeared as though Middleton had forgotten to put on the lower half of what surely was meant to be a pantsuit.
"We almost saw the royal vagina again," mused one commentator, referring to previous outings where Kate’s penchant for wearing mini-short skirts ended up with a billowing breeze on the Australian tarmac showing us all her ladyparts, due to the puzzling disappearance of the royal underwear. Another, noticing several Scouts wearing kilts at Windsor, observed: "Those blokes have got longer skirts on than the Duchess!"
Ever daring to endlessly repeat her fashion blunders, Kate yet again accessorized her ensemble with a pair of her ubiquitous nude high-high heel shoes from LK Bennett, a tan clutch bag and a hat of some whaddaya-call-that-color, maybe putty? Gray? Fawn? Snot? A nothing-color? Anyway, she wore a hat that looks like a folded-up dish cloth trying to pass as some kind of beret, topped with a curlicue, corkscrew thingy, or maybe it is a woodshaving from an oak 2x4 stuck to a cow patty.
Is all that supposed to coordinate?
What is truly important for all us Royalty watchers is that the British Mail Online breathlessly, and with enormous relief, was finally able to report that Kate "looked obviously pregnant for the first time."
Whew! And looking "obviously pregnant" is a good thing because now, Middleton is well into her seventh month of pregnancy!
Kate’s failure to look at all pregnant over the past seven months, her flitting about in stilettos and high heels, and her lack of swollen ankles or any of the hallmarks of typical pregnancy have stirred remarks throughout the United Kingdom even after her roundish tummy made its Windsor appearance: "She still doesn't look pregnant in my opinion," wrote one Mail reader, "just looks like she's full after a good meal!" Another pronounced: "I have not seen a single photo of Kate Middleton where she even looks pregnant."
Sniped one cryptic commentator of Kate’s now-appearing pregnancy bump at the Scout event: "Now you see it, now you don’t." Another simply wrote: "Surrogate." One poster, "Laddie," wrote: "I am sorry, but her bump still looks really fake... There was a reason they used to have royal women give birth in public. Red arrow me all you like, but this is a very strange pregnancy from start to finish!"
Laughed one New Zealander: "How cool that the bump was allowed to go along. Is this the first (and last?) we will see of it?" "Kate has remembered her pillow today," another gently mocked.

One Kate-loyalist poster responded: "Those fake pregnancy comments are so bizarre!"
But persistent.
Meanwhile, other correspondents noticed, in the Mail Online’s many photos of Kate, some strange shadows that seemed to reflect off of the tops of Kate’s feet: "It could be a reflection in her shiny tights from something up her skirt (part of the [pregnancy] prosthesis!!!)," mused one writer, before adding an apology: "Imagination running a bit wild, sorry!"
No apology needed, though.
Because even fawning newsy coverage sites admitted that Middleton was hardly showing her pregnancy, despite her repeated efforts to emphasize her pregnancy bump by pressing her omnipresent clutch handbag just above it. Wrote the celebrity site, DMZ: "The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Willows Primary School in Manchester, England yesterday ... and you could BARELY tell she was with fetus." Indeed, to that event, Kate wore a stretchy red, white and blue printed shift dress in which her bump was barely visible except when she turned sideways and pulled her backside in. Again, the former accessories buyer for the high-end British retailer, Jigsaw, augmented her ensemble with a blue clutch bag and blue high-high heels, and at both events, she strutted about like a truckdriver.
Not like a woman walking for two.
Posters on ABC’s blog of Kate’s Manchester visit pulled no punches on what they saw as a pregnancy missing in action: "Just to be clear," wrote one: "You wrote a story about her ‘baby bump’ and then didn’t post a picture of said baby bump?," even though ABC did post a photo of Kate thrusting her abdomen forward. "I don’t believe she is pregnant," wrote another, "maybe too much tea and biscuits."
Steering clear of controversy over whether Middleton had a bump or not, the London tabloid The Mirror took care to photograph her either from her shoulders up, or from behind, with her had strangely tilted backwards.
Why, some posters pondered, would Kate Middleton continue to jeopardize her baby’s well-being by wearing stiletto and high-high heeled shoes, well into her seventh month of pregnancy? Is Kate a reckless mother? A selfish, narcissistic fashionista addicted to footwear? Is she so stupid? Even Hollyood physicians weighed in on the issue, so concerned were they that their pregnant patients would seek to imitate Kate. Helping to get the word out that imitating Middleton could lead to miscarriage, Beverly Hills Podiatric Surgeon Stanley Orwasher told ABC News, "When you're pregnant you're going to change the center of gravity... Fall over [and] you're going to hurt yourself and hurt the baby."

Or is she perhaps not pregnant at all, but just enjoying pretending to be while somewhere, a surrogate is secretly gestating an in vitro fetus that will soon be produced as William and Kate’s own child? One poster called her, "Kate the Fake."
This debate has been on British minds since Kate’s announced bout of rampant morning sickness reportedly so endangering that she was hospitalized at King Edward VII Hospital, where a nurse in Kate’s ward was later found hanged, supposedly because she was "pranked" by Australian disc jockeys pretending to be the Queen. When Kate not only left the hospital but then immediately jumped into her stiletto heels and a slinky, long gown, showing no sadness or concern for the nurse who’d died or for her family, British subjects were left frowning and shaking their heads in wonder and disbelief.
What would Princess Diana have done, had the same happened to her?
One can easily imagine, based on the well-documented manner in which Diana led her life. Diana would have responded with shock, concern, and above all, love and compassion for the nurse’s surviving family. Surely she would have seen them personally, expressed her sympathy, held their hands, and then have followed up with letters, with flowers, and would have addressed their needs. Such is the way of true royals. Instead, from William and Kate the response was a muted...nothing.
People had expected that, with William, things would be more like how Diana had lived her life. Instead, they are being treated to a pregnancy that is decidedly strange, stealthy, and mysterious.
Anyone old enough to remember the late Princess Diana’s pregnancy with William can easily recall a young woman, scarcely 21 years old, who glowed and beamed throughout her pregnancy and was very obviously pregnant. Her enormous, swelling belly, at 7 months and even earlier, seemed to precede her wherever she went. Her breasts were full, rounded, engorged, their shape clearly outlined by Diana’s silky, frilly-necked, polka-dotted mumus. Occasionally, we could even see the outline of her belly button. She wore low-heeled shoes, and none of her coats hid anything, nor did she need to press a clutch bag against her stomach to make anything stick out.
Was Diana pregnant? Of this, the public had no doubt.
Nor did her husband.
One easily recalls her at the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in 1982, standing on the Buckingham Palace balcony between her father-in-law, Prince Philip, and her then-husband, Prince Charles. Diana was resplendent in a billowing green dress with just a wee bit of smocking around the collar, a green matching hat and brilliantly white pearl choker setting off her beauty as she lifted up her head to take in the majesty of the crowds and the Royal Air Force overflight. Charles, at one point, put his hand on his ceremonial sword and simply put his head down to stare at her burgeoning pregnancy, pondering the miracle of what they had done together for themselves and for the nation in creating the unborn child who would become Prince William. He seemed fascinated, even entranced, by what their coupling had wrought.
Thoughts of Mrs. Andrew Parker-Bowles had to then be far, far away.
Many years later, during her ill-advised interview with Martin Bashir on the BBC show "Panorama," one of her more poignant recollections was of her pregnancy with William. Diana reported that she felt "enormous relief" when she learned she was expecting a boy, and added, "I felt the whole country was in labor with me!"
And not just the whole country, but the world.
Do William and Kate have that level of connection? It does not seem so. Maybe with shoe salesmen and high-end dress designers, but not with each other, and not with the nation. Instead, many Britains expect that Kate will soon tire of rattling around in her stilettos, brandishing her clutch bag while opening centers and making speeches about drug addiction. And then, baby or not, it’s off to her next "well-deserved" vacation.
Will the nickname "Kate the Fake" stick?
I have no idea myself. But we shall see.

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