Prince William To Be A Thoroughly Modern Dad

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This is a very different generation and William is a very different kind of husband than Charles was…


By Phil Dampier

When Prince Charles was born at Buckingham Palace in November 1948, his father the Duke of Edinburgh was downstairs playing squash with his Australian private secretary Mike Parker.

After taking a swim in the pool, he was just drying himself off when a footman ambled in with the news that his wife Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen) had delivered a baby boy.

Philip made his way to her room and, as she came round from the anaesthetic having undergone a Caesarean section, he presented her with a bouquet of red roses and carnations.

“He looks like a plum pudding,” pronounced Philip, before joining King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in the drawing room for a glass of champagne.

How times have changed.

As the world awaits the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s child in mid-July, William is preparing to be a hands-on modern dad, brimming with 21st century tips and techniques for bringing up baby.

When Kate gives birth in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London’s Paddington, William (who was himself born there in 1982) will be with her every step of the way.

As royal gynaecologists Marcus Setchell and Alan Farthing perform their duties, William will be next to them, scrubbed up and wearing hygienic gown and mask in the delivery room full of the latest high-tech equipment.

Modern fathers-to-be on courses are encouraged to be “the brains” during births, looking on as calmly as they can and giving whispered words of encouragement as their wives go through a variety of agonies and emotions.

Kate wants to give birth naturally – but things don’t always go to plan.

So did Princess Diana, but after several hours in labour with William, she had to be given an epidural injection to relieve the pain.

After giving birth to her second child Prince Harry, Diana commented: “If men had babies they would only have one each!”

In keeping with today’s neo-natal methods, Kate will leave hospital within a few days, and she and William will pose up as proud parents with their son or daughter for photos that will be beamed around the world.

There are suggestions that Kate may take her baby home to her mother Carole and the Middleton family home in Berkshire, but whether they do or stay at their Kensington Palace home, William will be playing a major role.

He is expected to take at least three weeks’ paternity leave from his RAF helicopter pilot job, and he has told friends he wants to “get messy changing nappies right from the start.”

The fact that William is happy to spend time with his in-laws shows he values a “normal” environment away from Palace stuffiness, and wants Kate to be as relaxed and happy as possible.

Perhaps because of his military background, an instruction manual will come in handy, and the Prince has reportedly been reading Commando Dad – Basic Training, a guide for new fathers written by ex-soldier Neil Sinclair. Described by the author, who has three children, as “accessible basic training for dads” the book uses military terminology throughout.

Babies are referred to as BTs (baby troopers) toddlers as MTs (mobile troopers) and home as Base Camp. The emptying of dirty diapers is referred to as “bomb disposal” and holidays are “long-term deployments.” William will probably pay particular attention to a chapter titled “New Recruits – Surviving The First 24 hours” which gives a ten point plan of action.

Kate and William would ideally not want to have a nanny. But with the Queen and Prince Philip looking increasingly old and frail, they are expected to increase their royal duties, and William may soon leave the armed forces.

When they are away on official engagements someone will have to look after the child, so a nanny may be inevitable, but where possible William and Kate will be there themselves.

Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell saw at first-hand how William and Harry were brought up, and agrees William will be a doting dad. “This is a very different generation and William is a very different kind of husband than Charles was,” he said. “Kate will be even more hands-on than Diana, if that’s possible, but William will play a much bigger role than his father.

“I can see him getting stuck in, changing nappies and being a very modern dad.

“The new apartment William and Kate will live in at Kensington Palace (once Princess Margaret’s home) is much grander than the one William and Harry grew up in.

“It has its own garden, and ‘Baby Wales’ will be taken out there a lot in his or her pram because the royals believe in plenty of fresh air to ‘harden’ up the child.

“Although some things will be new and thoroughly modern, other traditions will be stuck to.”

Royal author Ingrid Seward confirms: “Both Kate and Will were brought up the same way – organic food, morning and afternoon naps, plenty of fresh air, breast feeding to a timetable, not on demand and bedtime stories not television.

“The child’s upbringing will be a perfect mix of old and new methods.”

According to a friend, William has even taken an interest in the design of the nursery being prepared for the baby. “He is interested in everything” said the pal.

“Kate has said she wants a boy but William wants a girl, and although the Palace claims they don’t know the sex, I’m not so sure.

“They will want to plan colour schemes and other things, and people are naturally curious.

“But whatever sex the baby is, it couldn’t have more loving parents, and William will want to be there at every major moment in its life, such as first words, first steps and first day at school.

“He is a very much a modern metro man, and is determined to be a great father to his kids, however many there are!”