The Guide to the Royal Baby for Americans

Fetus fever! Princess Kate is set to have her baby later this week. We'll get you all set up. (With bonus Royal Baby Drinking Game!)

Whew! It seems like only yesterday Will and Kate announced she was pregnant and I was picking out potential suitors for the future king or queen. But now the big day is almost here! Not since Kim and Kanye’s baby have I been this excited for a celebrity child.

With all due respect to Mr. West and Ms. Kardashian, the royal baby is a much bigger story than little North. For one, he won’t be born premature. And second, he could one day be king or queen of England! As an American, I know I’m supposed to hate British royalty. But I’ve been a fan ever since I saw the queen’s incredible cameo in The Naked Gun when I was a kid. (Note: This may have been a Queen Elizabeth impersonator.)

Whatever the reason — I’m still banking on The Naked Gun — the royal baby is attracting attention on this side of the Atlantic. And I figured I’d do my duty as a Serious Journalist to bring you up to speed on what’s going on with The Guide to the Royal Baby for Americans. In true American fashion, this will be half-assed. Enjoy!

Why should I care about the royal baby?
Allegedly the royals used to do things like rule over a kingdom, make laws, execute people and overcome stuttering. Best I can tell now they’ve been reduced to playing in polo matches to raise money for charity. When there’s an aquatic version of your sport that’s better, you know it’s pretty lame. But Kate is pretty, Will was handsome when he had hair, and they’re rich. This baby’s going to be adorable!

When’s the baby coming?
The British press has been staking out St. Mary’s Hospital in London for a week now, like a suspected terrible criminal is living there. Kate may or may not be past her due date yet. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, says the baby should come by the “end of the week.” Quick! Start a baby pool now and pick Friday to scam money from your coworkers.

Do we know if it’s a boy or a girl?
Nope. Will and Kate don’t even know yet, apparently. Maybe that technology hasn’t made it to England yet.

I really want to know about the royal baby. How can I learn the news the instant it happens?
There should be an announcement when Kate goes into labor, so you’ll have some warning. The best thing to do would be to travel to England and stake out Buckingham Palace. CNN reports that, when the baby is born, “a formal bulletin, signed by medical staff” will be “rushed in a car with a police escort to Buckingham Palace. There, the notice will be placed on an easel on the palace forecourt.” I assume “forecourt” is the U.K. term for “frontcourt,” so you’ll want to be somewhere along the baseline under the hoop.

Another option is to lazily look at your phone, where there will probably be an official tweet about the baby from the royals, and you can read it alongside obnoxious jokes about the royal baby and play-by-play of professional baseball games.

Is there a hilarious quote about the royal baby from an American news producer that the New York Times ran and treated as serious?
“This is probably the most anticipated birth since the dawn of Twitter,” said Jon Williams, the foreign editor for ABC News.

Great. Does FOX News have any so-typical-of-FOX News thoughts?
“First, I think it’s going to be a boy,” writes Dr. Manny Alvarez. “There’s no science behind that — but from my personal experience, most post-term babies turn out to be boys.”

Did you buy a bunch of glossy lifestyle magazines at the airport as part of your research for this piece?
I sure did!

(You’ll also note The Bachelorette is torn between two men, i.e., the stated plot of the show.)

Any good quotes on those magazines?
“No one could be more excited than me,” Kate’s cousin Lillian Lowers told Life & Style. I think she might even be closer to the top in the line of royal succession than in the list of those excited about the baby.

Any good anonymous quotes in those mags?
I particularly liked this pullquote from Star.

What about the royal doggy?
Don’t worry! ABC News ran a whole story about Lupo the cocker spaniel, who I guess is Britain’s version of Checkers. An English mag named him one of the country’s 50 most fascinating people. Anyway, ABC News didn’t say what was going to happen to the dog, but did get this quote: “If Kate was nursing the baby, and the dog was jumping around her, acknowledge and praise him to let him know he hasn’t been displaced in the family.”

Is there anything about the royal birth that can make them seem like normal people?
Sure! Prince William is taking just two weeks of paternity leave for the royal birth, then returning to his job as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. Sure, most Americans don’t get any paternity leave, but this is the prince! He should be able to order everyone around like King Joffrey if he wants.

How about something that makes them seem out-of-touch rich doofuses?
Princess Kate is reportedly considering hypnobirthing, a self-hypnosis program that’s supposed to bring “childbirth without fear.” That actually doesn’t sound that strange, except it has the unfortunate name of hypnobirthing.

What’s next for the royal baby?
I figure he can get into charity polo matches by the time he or she is six.

BONUS! The Royal Baby Drinking Game

Take a drink if…
… you’re watching a news program and it breaks in to announce the news of the royal baby.
… the baby’s a girl! It will be the first time a woman is first in line for the throne, and that deserves a toast.
… the royal baby comes up in conversation and someone breaks in with a dismissive “I don’t care.” (This will help you deal with it. I use it for people who brag about not having televisions.)

Take a shot if…
… you’re watching a news program and it breaks in from an important story with news of the royal baby.
… the baby’s a boy! Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of tradition.
… the royal baby comes up in conversation and you don’t care about it. (The drink will help you care.)

Finish your current drink, and order a shot if…
… you’re watching news of the royal baby and someone loathsome like Piers Morgan or, even worse, Dr. Drew comes on to comment on it.
… the baby is… crap, I dunno. The baby from The Omen.
… the royal baby comes up in conversation and the person you’re talking to runs a terrible royal baby parody Twitter account. (This will make you forget all the problems in the world.)