Leona O'Neill: Lay off Meghan and the new royal baby
The new royal baby has arrived to a flood of media interest and internet trolling. Leona suggests that, if you wouldn't say it to Harry and Meghan in person, then don't post it on social media. After all, would you really want to trade places with them?
AFTER months of Meghan Markle bump watching, the new royal baby she shares with Prince Harry has finally arrived. Little Archie Harrison Mounbatten-Windsor arrived into the world last Monday and the press have been talking about little else but this lovely news since.
The first we heard of it was when a sleepy but deliriously happy Prince Harry arrived in front of the cameras and spoke from his 'new dad happy haze' about how delighted he was that his little one had come safely into the world. He could barely contain his beaming smile. It was a joy to see.
Then we had the first sight of the little bundle of joy himself, all wrapped up in a blanket and slumbering in his daddy's arms, his mum glowing beside them, overjoyed and perhaps a little sleepy. Their joy was infectious. It could have been a picture of any number of new parents, had the backdrop not been the luxurious Windsor Castle.
Most of us were overjoyed at the royal couple's baby news. However, as is the way of the world these days, there were also a few who welcomed the news with disdain, calling the new addition a 'parasite' before he had even spent his first 24 hours in the world and branding his mum 'fat'.
Whatever your views on the royal family, it takes a cruel type of person to say such things about a tiny, innocent newborn baby or a new mum. The royal family may not have any money worries and live a life of luxury – but who would want to swap lives with them?
They have to serve the people, they have no privacy, they live life in a bubble, they have to follow strict rules, they have to give up their dreams and ambitions and spend their entire existence travelling the country shaking hands with folks at various events, always having to be courteous.
They need constant protection from terrorist attack, can only have approved, 'suitable' friends and can't be themselves. If they married into the family, their own family is pursued by the red top media who do their best to dish the dirt. There is no way I'd be signing up for that life, regardless of the wealth of castles and corgis at my disposal.
I, for one, was glad to see Meghan and Harry opt out of most of the royal protocols and take control of their own baby boy's entrance into the world.
Not for Meghan was the parading of the baby on the hospital steps just hours after the birth. I have always thought this a cruel and brutal tradition. The hours after a baby's birth are for sitting around in your best Primark nightie, snoozing while the baby sleeps, eating the finest toast known to man, drinking glorious tea and thanking God almighty that it is all over. I presume that is exactly what Meghan thought also.
The couple decided to wait two days until they showed their little boy off to the world. This, I'm sure, was no easy decision either. I don't put pictures of my kids on Twitter because people are so horrible and trolls are relentlessly cruel. The one thing you must do is protect your children from harm, it is ingrained in our DNA as parents.
Multiply the trolling the ordinary Joe Schmoe has to endure by a million and that's the type of reaction this little baby will have received. It must surely have broken new mum Meghan's heart.
Meghan attended her first photo call in a tight fitting white dress, showing off her new mum tummy. Again, she deserves credit for this. I doubt any of us new mums would be ready in any way, shape or form for a photo call 48-hours after giving birth. For most of us, sitting on the sofa in an MC Hammer t-shirt while eating Chocolate Digestives and praying the baby sleeps for more than 10 minutes so that we can drink our tea is about all we can manage.
The pressure on these new royal mums is immense and criticism of them as they try to navigate these days with a newborn is just adding to their woes. Would you knock on the door of a new non-royal mother in Derry or Belfast to tell them their child is a parasite and that they are fat? I think not. Don't do it on social media either. Lay off Meghan.