Prince William has plans to be with his grandmother rather than his wife on the day that Kate Middleton is supposedly set to give birth to the couple’s second royal baby — and the prince plans to keep that engagement, potentially leaving Duchess Kate to deliver the child without her husband at her bedside.
The one redeeming aspect of what appears to be an extremely unfortunate scheduling conflict is that Prince William’s plans with Queen Elizabeth are in support of a solemn and important event.
While the exact date that Kate Middleton is due to deliver the new baby has not been officially revealed, Kate herself was heard last month confiding in a group of well-wishers at one of her public charity appearances, “I’m due mid-April, to the end of April.”
According to the Daily Mail newspaper, sources close to the Royal Family then leaked the actual, expected date — April 25.
But April 25 also falls on Anzac Day, the Australian version of Memorial Day, which falls each year on April 25 because that date is the annual anniversary of the tragic Battle of Gallipoli in World War I — a battle in which 8,000 Australians lost their lives.
The Gallipoli invasion was the subject of an acclaimed 1981 film, titled Gallipoli, starring a very young Mel Gibson.
The day honors the memory of all Australians who have lost their lives in war, not only in World War I. Australia was then, and remains, a member of the British Commonwealth, meaning that the Queen is also the official head of state for Australia — and the British Royal Family is also, in effect, Australia’s Royal Family.
That puts the Duke of Cambridge in an awkward position — does he snub an entire nation of British subjects, or does he leave his wife alone to deliver the new royal baby by herself?
Of course, Anzac Day comes every year, and his new child will be born only once. But for Prince William, and for Australia, this year’s Anzac Day has added importance.
April 25, 2015, marks 100 years to the day since the ill-fated landing at Gallipoli, when the Australian and New Zealand “Anzac” force joined with the British and French to attempt an invasion of Turkey, which was allied with Germany and controlled virtually all of what today is known as the Middle East, as part of the Turks’ Ottoman Empire.
“The Duke’s intention is to be at the commemorations,” a palace spokesperson stated, flatly. “Being the 100th anniversary, it is very important to him.”
Prince William has said only that he will do “everything I can” to be at the Anzac Day ceremonies, as he faces a tough choice between supporting his wife, Kate Middleton, and one of his most solemn royal duties.
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