We Kinda Wanted the Royal Baby to Be a Girl


We’ll admit it: When the announcement came through — it’s a boy! — we were ever-so-slightly deflated. We thought it was going to be a girl, and frankly, the idea of a brand new princess seems more interesting.

In a column for Time, Belinda Luscombe agrees, writing, “dammit, I wanted a queen. I wanted a royal baby girl.” She adds:

This is not just a feminist impulse. Of course I wanted a female to exercise her right to this politically meaningless but insanely prominent position. It’s also not just a desire for more soap opera, although it would be excellent to watch some poor fool ask the future head of the Church of England on a date. But mostly it’s because female monarchs are like male emerald swallowtails: more rare and fun to look at.

It’s so true. We don’t have royals here in the states, but we’re brought up on Disney Princess culture and tend to fetishize and embrace the trappings of royalty: Tiaras, crowns, thrones, ruling. Even our entertainers — from Beyoncé to Fergie The “Dutchess” to Queen Latifah — play at being royals.

And there is that desire to see a woman in charge, even if she’s just a figurehead in a terribly dated institution like the British Monarchy. In our lives, Queen Elizabeth has always been old and Princes Diana is dead and a fresh new Princess — the eventual Queen! — would have been exciting.

More reasons we were rooting for a girl:

  • We watch too much Game of Thrones and Khaleesi got us all excited about scary-powerful women in charge.
  • Fashion! Every dress Kate Middleton wears sells out immediately; Princess Diana was in Vogue and Bazaar; Princess Beatrice’s hat became a meme. The wardrobe of a new little Princess — as a child, as a teen, as a woman — would surely be a visual feast. The Prince will most likely wear somber suits or military garb. Fingers crossed for a Sex Pistols T-shirt, though. As Luscombe puts it:
  • Women are much more suited for this particular duty, which is all about visual communication. Queen Elizabeth for example, often wears a loud and off-trend color, so she can be picked out in the distance in a crowd. Even if Prince Charles will occasionally wear a kilt, so royal watchers have something to talk about he’s not going to be rocking the canary yellow or magenta the way Her Maj regularly does. We now have three generations of dudes in suits to look forward to. Yawn.
  • Future costume dramas? As a character, Elizabeth has been exhausted. Helen Mirren can only do so much. We need new queens.

Obviously this is all very superficial, rather petty, fairly stereotypical (perhaps the Prince will be a dandy!) and very inconsequential. Sincere congratulations to the new parents, and to the bouncing baby boy! Will and Kate seem to genuinely like each other, and their sweet little family is just adorable. Best wishes, you know? We just get excited about women who rule. Guess we’ll just have to root for Hillary 2016?

Wait, I Wanted a Queen! [Time]

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