When Prince Charles was asked for his feelings about becoming a grandfather again, his response seemed non-controversial and expected. He expressed delight at the prospect of a new addition to the royal brood, telling one well-wisher at a recent event it was great news. According to People, the Prince of Wales said of the royal baby:
“[I]t’s wonderful to have another one. I’m happy I’m going to be a grandfather again. I’m looking forward to it – but I hope it will be a girl this time.”
While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may be perfectly happy to hear the prince’s gender preferences for the royal baby, the pronouncement ruffled the feathers of at least one British journalist. Writing in The Guardian Wednesday, Angela Neustatter, a self-proclaimed feminist and mother of two boys, made her feelings about Prince Charles’ comment clear.
“So, Charles, kindly lend me your substantial ears, and let me bid you rephrase your wish to something like: ‘I long for a healthy, happy, second grandchild.’ You can have your private thoughts. Just don’t create a gender meritocracy for the masses.”
Neustatter’s argument is that a proclamation such as that of Prince Charles’ creates a preference for one gender over the other, and has no place in a society where boys and girls should be equal. While the writer speaks of the unique bond she shares with her grandchild – a girl – she questions whether Charles wants a strong force of nature such as her own granddaughter, or a young girl of a different kind:
“[Does Prince Charles want] a diminutive force of her own nature who will rattle the royal cage, or a wee sweetie straight out of Mabel Lucie Atwell to dandle on his knee? It is not an idle thought, for when senior members of the royal family express a preference it tends to be hugely influential.”
According to People, Prince Charles’ preference for girl babies is not new. In Andrew Morton’s 1992 biography of Princess Diana, Diana, Her True Story, the late princess told the author Charles wanted his and Diana’s second child to be a girl. Diana told Morton:
“Charles always wanted a girl. He wanted two children and he wanted a girl. I knew Harry was a boy and I didn’t tell him.”
In 2013, in the wake of Princess Kate’s first pregnancy, Britain and 15 other Commonwealth regions agreed to change succession laws to give male and female heirs equal status. As CTV News reported this week, those changes have yet to take effect because they have to be approved by all 16 nations first.
Meanwhile, as the Inquisitr previously reported, the Duchess of Cambridge has been forced to cancel recent engagements due to the physical effects of her early pregnancy.
[Image: Tim Graham, Getty Images]