The imminent arrival of William and Kate’s second child will be a rare ray of hope — and a blessed relief from the interminable tedium of this stage-managed election campaign.
We do not know the due date, but it could be as early as this weekend. William has already started his paternity leave — all six weeks of it.
And this time round he’s being even more protective of his wife — as well as highly prescriptive about the way the birth should be reported.
The Duke of Cambridge seems keen to avoid a repeat of summer 2013's 'Great Kate Wait'
In an attempt to avoid what became known as ‘The Great Kate Wait’ at St Mary’s in Paddington in the summer of 2013 — when cameras surrounded the hospital for days before George’s birth — the media has been banned until after the Duchess is admitted.
And no announcement about the baby will be made until the day after the birth. While one understands the future king’s desire for privacy and his determination to have the normal family life he is denied as a royal, isn’t this all going a bit far?
For William’s is not an ordinary family. The new baby, however normal his parents want the birth to be, will be an heir to the throne. The risk is that, by being so picky about the way the birth is treated, William comes across as prickly and self-indulgent.
True, it cannot be easy for him to balance his public duty with a desire for the kind of privacy that most families enjoy. But he does not help himself. The majority of dads can only dream of six weeks’ paternity leave — many are lucky if they get two.
As for Kate, her last public appearance was on March 27, a month ago. And while we sympathise with her over her difficult pregnancy — she’s said to be ‘on her knees with exhaustion’ — many women work until two weeks before their due date.
And it’s not as if she isn’t going to have plenty of help. Besides her husband, her mother Carole is moving in to join the live-in nanny, the night nurse for the new baby and the other staff on hand to cater to the family’s every need.
Meanwhile, the couple won’t even be staying in the Kensington apartment we paid £4.5 million to refurbish, but are retiring to the privacy of their country mansion, Amner Hall.
It’s all very well for William and Kate to hanker after a normal family life. But they can’t have it both ways — they can’t bask in royal privilege, while failing to fulfil their royal duties.
Gwynnie and Chris show how it's done
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's 'concious uncoupling' seems to have worked for them - and their family
Apology corner. We all laughed when Gwyneth Paltrow (left) ‘consciously uncoupled’ from Chris Martin, her husband and father of their two children.
They’ve now quietly divorced, divided their £194 million fortune equally and agreed joint custody of their children, without using lawyers, and have spent as much time together as possible for the sake of their young family.
No acrimony, no alimony — a lesson to all married couples who have fallen out of love.
I'm not checking out of Tesco
After a record £6.38 billion loss, Tesco has come in for some serious stick. And while my local Tesco Express is a bit tired and shabby, it’s open from 6am to midnight most nights and, even when serving those of us who have just spilled out of the pub at closing time, the staff still manage a smile. I also use its home delivery service each week and find it punctual and friendly. Some Tesco customers may have deserted, but not me.
Is this really child care?
Labour has promised what it calls ‘wrap-around’ child care with schools open from 8am until 6pm so parents can drop their kids off early and pick them up late. What a sad vision for our children’s daily existence — ten hours at school being raised by strangers, arriving home in time for supper, before homework and bed.
Mothers who put their children before their jobs and stay home to raise their families don’t even merit a mention in Labour’s plans.
But then, when you employ a live-in nanny as the Milibands — who have a combined salary of £300,000 — do, what possible understanding of ordinary families can you have.
Boris's having a bawl with baby
This little one was less than impressed when she was handed to Boris out on the campaign trail in Sutton
No surprises that the London Mayor was unfazed when the baby girl he picked up to cuddle for a photo op started bawling.
Given his track record with the ladies, Boris must be quite accustomed to inconsolable females bursting into tears in his arms.
WE OFTEN remark on the toll time takes on leading ladies, so what a blow for equality it is to see the latest pictures of Jack Nicholson (right) at 78.
The man who broke a string of women’s hearts, including the magnificent Anjelica Huston, was celebrating his birthday with his daughter Lorraine, who at 25 is slightly older than the women whose company he usually seeks.
A fat, lonely old man, he’s gone from starring in a Batman film to bingo wings.
Don’t ask me to feel sorry if this one-time lothario, who spent his life treating women badly, ends up sad and alone.
Poldark ends tomorrow night, with our Cornish hero cheating on his low-born wife Demelza by smooching with the love of his life, the aristocratic Elizabeth. Most of us just hope Demelza takes to him with his scythe when she finds out — though with that hairy chest, she’s unlikely to make much impact.
Nigella back on the boil
Domestic Goddess Nigella Lawson is returning to our screens later this year with Simply Nigella
Nigella Lawson, the Domestic Goddess, is returning to our screens with a BBC show called Simply Nigella.
You’ve got to hand it to her.
After being half-strangled by millionaire Charles Saatchi, then publicly forced to admit taking drugs in front of her children and later losing her American TV show Taste, she’s fought her way back.
Although perhaps her new show should be called Humble Pie.
Eyebrows were raised when One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson was caught rolling what appeared to be a joint while entertaining five young women in his London hotel suite. But given he’s in the world’s top boy band, perhaps his intentions were honourable, perhaps it was a herbal rollie — and this entrepreneurial young man was just auditioning some lovely lasses for a girl band.
Ed Miliband as Derek Zoolander - an appropriate choice, according to Amanda Platell
- Twitter is abuzz with supposedly infatuated teenage girls posting images of Ed Miliband’s geeky face superimposed on the bodies of action men such as Rambo — another good reason why 16-year-olds shouldn’t be given the vote. My choice of Hollywood hero for Ed is the dim-witted, retired model Derek Zoolander, played in the hilarious film of that name by Ben Stiller. He’s a washed up, gurning fraud trying to pretend he’s something he isn’t. It suits him (right).
- No surprise that support for the Green Party has plummeted among young people disenchanted with its leader, Natalie Bennett. She has modelled herself as a cross between fellow Aussie Dame Edna Everage and her political alter ego Sir Les Patterson.
- After a Tasering from the Mail, David Cameron finally became passionate about immigration, writing about it in yesterday’s paper. He warned that a Labour win would see a return to the days of uncontrolled numbers of people entering our country. If Dave had uttered the ‘i’ word earlier, he might be well ahead in the polls, with Ukip a deflated force and Britain not teetering on the brink of a kamikaze Labour/SNP government.