Untraditional royal birth delights US


Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 11, 2019 in London, EnglandImage copyright
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“Meghan is now the Duchess of Sussex, but she still does things her own way” – AP news

News of the royal baby has delighted many people around the world – and been prominently covered by media outlets from the US, the birthplace of the Duchess of Sussex.

Americans have always been known to be obsessed with British Royals – but the fact that Meghan is, as Fox News described it, “one of their own-turned-British-Royal”, might have particularly boosted their enthusiasm.

US media have been keen to explain all the possible facts about the baby – from the fact it is a dual UK-US citizen, to the likelihood that the baby will have red hair.

Broadcaster ABC published close to 20 online reports about the royal baby on Monday, with headlines including: “Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s son is a Taurus: Here’s what that means” and “#ParentGoals: Looking back at Harry and Meghan’s cutest moments with kids“.

Meanwhile, Fox News featured a column from statistician who explained why, based on maths, she already “knew” weeks ago that the couple would have a boy.

On a more serious note, many US websites appeared to approve of how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to “break with tradition” by demanding more privacy during the birth of their child.

They echoed TV host Oprah Winfrey, who recently said she was “so proud” of Meghan’s decision to “say ‘this is what I really want for my baby and my family.'”

US news outlets also reacted warmly to Prince Harry’s words with the media following the birth.

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Media captionPrince Harry says he and Meghan are “absolutely thrilled”

The Washington Post wrote: “Harry endeared himself to mums everywhere when he gushed: ‘It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension.’

“Harry’s wonder at the miracle of birth — and the great effort involved — stood in contrast to how Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have played it.

Kate is famous for appearing just hours after birth outside the maternity wing in London. She always looks great, by the way. But many have said her turn before the cameras presents a slightly skewed version of what happens behind the scenes.”

Meanwhile, a Fox News columnist wrote that Prince Harry’s words would lead to “millions of women around the world smiling from ear-to-ear”.

“Giving this kind of praise to his wife on the world stage and recognising the kind of effort it takes to grow a human being and then deliver it into the world is a beautiful message… a message that more women need to hear.”

The news has also prompted think pieces about the symbolism of the newest royal baby being from a multi-ethnic background.

The New York Times said that the baby “represents change for the oldest of houses… He is the first multiracial baby in the British monarchy’s recent history, an instant star in a country where multiracial children make up the fastest-growing ethnic category.”

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Media captionRoyal baby: How Meghan and Harry did it their way

A CNN opinion piece, meanwhile, cautioned against attaching too much symbolism to an interracial royal baby. “People are obsessed over the appearance and racial identity of the new royal baby… but the presence of these mixed-race symbols in positions of power doesn’t automatically translate into more power for people of colour.”

News website Vice suggested that the media was too focused on the royal birth.

In an article titled “Who’s going to tell the royal baby that our planet is unequivocally dying?” it highlighted a new UN report saying that one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction and urged readers to consider that “Royal baby aside, the most important news of the day, the decade, our lives, is this: We have pushed the planet far past its limits.”

The New York Times editorial board however argues that the reasons why people care about the story “range from the morality play of racism overcome in the birth of a boy descended from slaves and kings, or the undertones of racism in how the Harry-Meghan romance is depicted, and on to the simple need for escape from the tedious Brexit mess.”

“Theirs is a real-life fable in which people of all backgrounds and colours can find echoes of their own lives, their childhood fantasies and dreams, all the while sharing Prince Harry’s timeless wonder at witnessing a birth.”

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