It’s a prince!

The newest British Royal was born on April 23, 2018. Now the youngest son of Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton, he joins older sister Charlotte and big brother Charles. 

(Could those kids possibly be any cuter, by the way? You can find the sweet blue, smocked dress Princess Charlotte wore to meet her baby brother here, though it’ll set you back 45 pounds. It also appears to now be sold-out — surprise, surprise!)

The duchess of course looked stunning, per usual, when the young family alighted from St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London. Mere hours after the birth, Kate could be seen holding her newborn while wearing a cheery, red-colored shift dress (looking not unlike the late Princess Diana after the birth of her own son), and a pair of high heels. Perfect hair and makeup completed the look as the couple waved, smiled and greeted onlookers, before disappearing back inside with the sleeping prince in tow. 

I don’t follow celebrity news very closely, but for whatever reason I make an exception for the Royal Family. I’ve written before about why I suspect the world finds them so compelling, and I find it especially intriguing that this doesn’t seem to be changing. In spite of our modern era marked by a radical and all-encompassing feminism, and an insistence upon abandoning things like tradition and gender roles, men and women alike remain captivated by a woman who chose family over career, who wears high heels home from delivering her baby at the hospital. 

Of course it is precisely the failingsof our modern era that propel ordinary, jeans-and-T-shirt wearing people like me to look upon Kate Middleton with awe and wonder. You can’t help but admire the picture she presents of femininity and motherhood, even if it’s utterly foreign and somewhat unattainable in our own culture. She’s a mom to three young children now — which as I recall was a fairly intense phase of parenting — but you won’t find Kate opining about diaper blowouts or toddler meltdowns on Instagram. You won’t see her complaining to everybody on Facebook about her messy house and mountains of laundry. Aside from the fact that, as a royal, she is prohibited from having a social media presence in the first place, she exudes nothing but grace and charm in her public appearances.

This is of course NOT to say that life with small children has even the potential to be uneventful, or without difficulty. Even well-dressed duchesses, I suspect, have their bad days, and share of spit-up stained clothing. And certainly she has access to hired help that most of the rest of us do not. 

But the fact remains that, in a world that now prizes material wealth and feminist ideology over things like marriage and motherhood, people are hungry for authentic femaleness (and maleness). Kate Middleton, when she stands next to her husband while holding her precious newborn son and waving outside The Lindo Wing, in her classic dress and heels, images nothing less than the very dignity and beauty of motherhood. Of a womanhood fully realized. Nobody quite knows why they’re so enamored with the duchess, but this is surely part of it. 

As a mother many times over myself, I can assure you I’ve never once emerged post-partum from the hospital looking quite like Kate. And I have the photographic evidence to prove it. But perhaps that’s why I love her so darn much. In a time when motherhood is utterly devalued, where it’s far more socially acceptable to complain and begrudge my vocation than to embrace it, the sight of a woman being, well, a woman (and appearing to enjoy it!) is a welcome one indeed.

So congratulations to Prince William, Kate Middleton, and little Charlotte and George. Your new baby is precious! Know that I’m over here in my yoga pants and ponytail, cheering you on. Here’s to the beauty and joy of motherhood!