Royal Baby Announcement on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Royal Baby Announcement on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Life and Style Editor Imogen Lancaster shares her opinion on Prince Harry and Meghan Markles controversial pregnancy announcement

Whether you love them or hate them, the royal family’s recent baby news will have almost certainly caught your attention in the days since the pregnancy was made public. I am, of course, referring to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s announcement that they are expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019. In fact, such a revelation is impossible to avoid when it inevitably attracts this sheer scale of media attention. And the announcement itself is just the start: the entirety of Meghan’s pregnancy will undoubtedly be documented for all to see. Expect baby name predictions, Meghan’s maternity wardrobe, and pictures of her growing bump to be splattered across the tabloids and your newsfeeds in the months to come – whether you like it or not!

The date that the news was revealed, coincided with international Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
This may already be yet another over shared pregnancy under the glare of the royal spotlight, but the news unsurprisingly got an astoundingly positive reception from fans of the royals – for the most part. Indeed, it is undeniably a refreshingly positive announcement to hear amidst the negativity that we often see in the news. And you would have to be particularly cold-hearted to think otherwise, even if you are not especially a fan of the royals. But with most things in this world, whatever you say or do isn’t going to please everyone.

In this instance, it was the timing of the revelation itself that received backlash from the public. Quite unfortunately, the 15thOctober, the date that the news was revealed, coincided with international Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. And unsurprisingly, certain members of the public were in uproar over the insensitivity of this.

Admittedly, coming to terms with the loss of a child is heart breaking, and an understandably painful time for couples. And I can only expect the pain experienced when grieving over a miscarriage, stillbirth or losing a baby may be even more poignant for some when hearing about another couple’s pregnancy. It is a very human reaction: even if you want to be happy for other people, it’s not always easy to do so. It’s second nature to feel this way when you have experienced such pain and hardship and see others in the position you expected and longed to be in.

Surely announcing the pregnancy on this specific day is a decision they regret
But here is my perhaps controversial opinion on the matter: announcing a pregnancy on this day, as opposed to any other, does not somehow entail that you are disrespecting those who lost a child. Nor does it mean you are disregarding the importance of the day or are forgetting to acknowledge the memory of these children. And, although some parents may grieve more on this day due to it potentially being a sad reminder of their loss, I’m sure many parents would also argue that losing your child would not be any more or less painful on one day over another, despite there being a day dedicated to this cause. But irrespective of this, it is the fact the people took the news as something worthy of causing personal offence, when the announcement had nothing to do with the day it was announced on, nor anybody else for that matter. Sadly, the world doesn’t stop just because of the existence of this day.

The unfortunate and harsh reality is that hearing about other people’s pregnancies is just another fact of life and something you cannot avoid or take personally. And if you have recently lost a baby, hearing this news may not be easy. But surely it will be painful irrespective of whether this pregnancy was announced on that day or the next. In fact, people announce pregnancies every day of the year, so why should this day be any different?

Of course I am not renouncing the fact that it was an unfortunate decision on the royal family’s behalf, and surely announcing the pregnancy on this specific day is a decision they regret. Ultimately, it was simply a human mistake, and something they would have surely avoided if they were aware. But it was by no means a malicious act and of course did not mean to cause offense to anyone. I really do not think something so positive as a pregnancy announcement should evoke such a reaction.

Whilst parents should be able to mourn, other parents should be able to celebrate pregnancy

Life is too short to find reason to take away from someone else’s happiness or critique a couple for what is purely and undeniably happy news. Harry and Meghan may be members of the royal family, but when it boils down to it they are just another happy couple celebrating bringing a child into the world, like many other normal couples around the world. And so whilst parents should be able to mourn, other parents should be able to celebrate pregnancy. And although we should always strive to respect others and be sensitive to their losses, Meghan and Harry should be able to enjoy this exciting time. Because at the end of the day, would ‘normal’ couples who announced their pregnancies on this day deserve to receive this same backlash?

 

Current Life&Style Print Editor, Former Life&Style Online Editor 17/18 and Deputy Editor 16/17. Primarily write for Life&Style. Fourth year English Language student, previously studied abroad in Canada.



Published

17th November 2018 at 7:00 am

Last Updated

18th November 2018 at 10:37 am



Images from

Northern Ireland Office



Share