Whenever the latest royal spawn emerges from the royal womb, one of my favorite news cycles will draw to a close. I don’t care about the breathless baby outfit reporting, or the high-end amenities at the Lindo wing. No, it’s the batshit crazy rumors and tabloid reports and scurrilous online nonsense that’ve made the last few months so very, very special.
Oh, Lord, the crap you see when you’ve got a “Kate Middleton” Google alert.
Before we all move on with our lives, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the finest nonsensical examples of the form, ranked according to a complex algorithm accounting for juiciness, craziness and pure entertainment value. And by algorithm, I mean my own feelings.
In March, Star claimed Kate Middleton had been dramatically rushed to the hospital, due to Braxton Hicks contractions. Yes, I’m sure Star would be the outlet to break that story. But nothing tops the fact that back in August, Globe Magazine ran a headline announcing that Kate had lost her baby in a miscarriage—which is so gross that this rumor comes dead last in the competition. Zero points for Slytherin. However, one good thing did result from the miscarriage rumor-mongering, which is this truly remarkable segue on Celebrity Dirty Laundry:
According to the Aug. 4th print edition of GLOBE Magazine Kate suffered a miscarriage in spite of being extra careful. She and William have reportedly been sticking together and supporting each other through this upsetting ordeal all while putting on a brave public face while celebrating George’s first birthday. The couple has let it be known that they are hoping for three kids in about five years time and Kate has decided not to let this ordeal prevent her from trying again to expand their family.
It’s not summer unless we take a look at some of the best and worst Hollywood beach bodies right? GLOBE is taking several pages in its Aug. 4th issue to give us a look at the best of the best and well, all the rest.
I’m not even going to link to various examples because they’re boring (with one exception, which I’ll come to later). Gender speculation is the most basic of royal baby rumor-mongering, because it is rumor-mongering that can be done by anybody about any baby. I can talk out of my ass about whether Kate’s having a boy or a girl without any help from the tabloids—give me something I can’t get anywhere else. Still, props to the hardworking royal reporters at the Daily Mail who got the scoop that an interior designer had dropped off some “feminine” paint samples at Kensington Palace. No credit for the nugget that “she was looking at little girls’ clothing,” though, People.
Again, this isn’t even junior-varsity level gossiping. It’s pee-wee league. We all know the baby’s gonna get here sooner or later. Zzzzz.
A beloved old tabloid standby. Come on, Life & Style—it’s better than empty gender speculation, but still unimpressive.
Celebrity Dirty Laundry (you’ll notice they are repeat offenders on this list) takes the fact that Kate hasn’t been seen in public lately and spins it into some truly remarkable fan fiction:
Where is Kate Middleton? Pregnant Kate Middleton is past her due date of April 20 and the Duchess of Cambridge is literally overdue and going to give birth to Prince William’s baby girl any second now, but Will’s wife has not been spotted out and about by the media or paparazzi. It stands to reason that Kate is either hulled up in London at Kensington Palace, or hiding away at Carole Middleton’s home, Bucklebury Manor. One thing is for sure, wherever Kate is the Middletons are certain to be by her side.
Kate Middleton has been feuding with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles for weeks now over her mother Carole Middleton hovering over Prince George. The Royals are not happy that George is being raised as a Commoner child by Kate’s mother Carole. Despite the fact that the Royals made it very clear they did not want Carole Middleton to be a part of Will and Kate’s baby girl’s birth – there is a good chance that Kate Middleton defied their orders and went to Bucklebury Manor just to get away from Prince Charles and Camilla, and the never-ending feud with them.
With much respect to the disproportionate, Holy Writ-level tone of authority in this report, let’s just dispense with that “Commoner child” bit—it’s juicy, but I very much doubt the royals are feuding along such perfect Brothers Grimm lines.
The core of the rumor is entirely possible—Kate is sticking close to home and isn’t spending much time chit-chatting with the in-laws. But it’s just such a pedestrian story. If true, who cares? You wouldn’t feel like talking about whatever-the-hell with feet so swollen they’re overflowing your boringly tasteful LK Bennett pumps, either.
Globe Magazine struck again in December with this marvelous cover line: “Pregnant Kate FLEES PALACE.” It was all part of a bigger package on the royals, which led with: “EVIL CAMILLA NAMED QUEEN!” Points for entertainment value.
Star says the royal couple announced the upcoming happy event to their friends with a text message that included a “stork smiley.” You know, I wouldn’t put it past them!
Ladies and gentlemen, the Daily Mail:
Hey, why not?
Even Celebrity Dirty Laundry thought OK! was full of shit with this one:
A new report states Kate Middleton is in labor and giving birth to a new baby! Of course this ridiculous OK! Magazine report fails to take into account that The Duchess of Cambridge is not in labor nor giving birth now.
False, but so blatantly false they get some credit for being fun.
The Daily Mail cites Princess Di biographer Andrew Morton talking to the Sun on Sunday. He’s pretty confident he’s got the name nailed down, provided they do have a girl: “They discussed girls’ names before George was born and now they’re hoping the next one is a girl so they can carry out their wish to honour William’s mother. They’re not too thrilled at the thought it will be shortened to Princess Di. But it won’t change their minds.”
This storyline is related to the “Commoner child” bits, but it scores better because it’s not quite so hamfistedly framed. You see, Life & Style and Star have claimed that once the baby arrives, Kate will be temporarily decamping to her parents’ home, which is really and truly named Bucklebury Manor, as though they were hobbits rather than party supply entrepreneurs. Star added that Prince Charles disapproves, because he’d like to see his grandbabies once in a while, by Gad, and apparently he can’t take himself off to Bucklebury. Plus the Daily Mail says there’s already tension over how much time the young couple spends with the Middletons and specifically how much influence Carole Middleton has. “Carole has rather taken over, dictating when George naps, when and what he eats. All in all, behaving like she’s Queen Carole,” said one very charming source.
Which would by juicy enough. But then Life & Style took this story to the next level the following week, suggesting that “The queen feels the heirs to the throne should be in the capital, not relaxing in the countryside.” Please” as though the English haven’t spent the last thousand years making a fetish of the countryside.
Not baby-specific, but I’m including this rumor on the grounds that royal gossip ramps up when a royal’s pregnant, and also because I love it: Life & Style suggests that Kate Middleton fears there are spies in her own home, reporting back to Queen Elizabeth. Well, honey, you did marry into a dynasty.
Our pals at Celebrity Dirty Laundry:
According to Royal family insiders, the Middletons have nothing against Prince Charles, it’s the fact that whenever he comes around he has Camilla with him, and they don’t want her around baby George or his future baby sister. And, who can blame them?
Did Camilla Parker-Bowles run over Celebrity Dirty Laundry’s office dog or something?
This got rolled up into a report that Kate was having a girl and they were naming her Diana, but I really don’t think we dwelled long enough on the fact that OK! released a cover claiming the palace had “released” Kate’s ultrasound:
The sheer brass balls are astounding.
Finally: nothing, but nothing, could ever match the idea that Camilla is demanding that Prince William name his daughter Camilla. Celebrity Dirty Laundry again, of course:
We already know that Queen Elizabeth wants the baby daughter to be named after her late sister, Margaret. Or at the very least, the Queen will want the baby to be named after herself, Elizabeth. However, we’re hearing exclusively that after the royal family found out that the baby would be a girl, Camilla Parker-Bowles began pressuring Prince William and Kate Middleton to name their baby daughter ‘Camilla’. Seriously, the nerve of her, no?
What they don’t tell you is that they’re “hearing [this] exclusively” via Ouija board
from a spirit that claims to be the departed Queen Mum but is actually all six Mitford sisters simultaneously, reunited in the afterlife by their common love of trolling.
Photo via Getty.