Dear Kate: About your baby shower….
I know Pippa’s technically the party planner in the family…but she’s so busy with boyfriends and skiing and buying brown tights, I’m concerned she doesn’t have time. Besides, that stripper she organised for your hen’s was dreadful.
So I thought I’d step in with some ideas!
Now, I know you’re excited to be pregnant at last. Of course. It’s a wonderful feeling when you’ve got life sprouting away in your royal belly (in between the bloating, headaches and cravings for Yorkshire pud, amiright princess?!). But let’s not get too carried away. Humble and dignified is the way to go. Remember, people love to tell baby shower horror stories; don’t give them ammo. If you’re going to drag people out to Kensington on a Sunday afternoon, make sure they enjoy it. Have great food, keep it short, and be gracious.
Let’s talk theme! Firstly, don’t have one. That’s right, step away from Etsy. Log out of Pinterest. ‘Having a baby’ is already a theme. You don’t want to be up a ladder at 6am stringing paper duck garlands all over the palace. Some nice silverware, linen napkins and fresh flowers is really all you need to set the mood. I admit, I was on the fence with games for your event. Grown women taste-testing chocolate ‘poo’ and attacking each other with coloured pegs? The Queen would not be LOLing. But you, my dear, have an estate. So I say let your guests get tipsy and play croquet!
I know it’s tempting to get out your old wedding guest list, highlight the women and send a group e-vite to them all. But Duchess, don’t. A dozen ladies is perfect, any more just looks like a blatant gift grab. Zara’s always fun, and Bea and Eugenie are a definite – they’re going splitsies in a new Maclaren for the baby, a taupe one. Pretend I didn’t tell you. Harry’s new flame, is she a good sort? What about your old pal from Jigsaw, what was her name? You went to hers last year, so we probably should include her.
A word on etiquette. You’re so refined and courteous; I know you wouldn’t put an elegant toe wrong. But a reminder, just in case that baby brain of yours has got you rattled. These days, text messages are a widely acceptable way of thanking your guests, but I suggest we err toward old-school on this one. Handwritten thank you cards take time and effort, but it’s a beautiful way to show your generous guests that their attendance really meant something to you. I know, I know…that awkward moment when your own face is on the stamps! But I’ll pick up some lovely floral ones from the high street and we’ll sit down and do them together. One thing is certain: A picture of the overflowing gift table posted on Facebook with the caption ‘Thanks for the loot every1!’ shows questionable breeding.
When in doubt, ask yourself: What would Diana do?
Kate darling, if it all sounds too stressful, and it’s starting to make you feel uncomfortable, there is a solution. Don’t have one. Of all people, you know the expectations of doing ‘the done thing’ can be stifling. Anyone who tells you that you simply must have a baby shower is sniffing old Phil’s brandy. It won’t mean you love your baby any less if you bypass the whole charade.
An even better idea: just invite your best girlfriends round for Vietnamese rolls, cranberry mocktails and Three Men & A Baby. Easy, fun, and a genuine way to share your excitement. I’ll bring some of that dark chocolate you like.
Your friend in royal expectation,
Pia R. Careedy (R for ‘regular old red blood’)
P.S. Gift wise – I know you said you don’t need anything. So I’m getting you a big box of baby wipes from Aldi. Less than 10 pounds, and they’re the best! You can never have enough, and you don’t want to be running out of the castle at 3am to buy more. You’ll thank me in six months.