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Duchess of Cambridge’s baby: It’s a girl!

I have been a bit surprised at the level of media interest in the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy. From all over the world reporters have descended on London, crowding the streets outside the private Edward VII hospital where Kate was admitted two days ago with acute morning sickness. Congratulations are certainly in order, although traditionally not offered until after the safe period of three months has elapsed.

The child  - now known to be a girl – will be third in line to the throne, although why this fact should be of interest to the world is a mystery to me. The longevity of our current monarch means that those in the royal line may never be monarchs themselves, no matter their legitimate claim to the throne. Whatever the reason for the intense interest, this royal baby must be already the most famous embryo in the world. Its a superlative level of real fame when everyone’s talking about you – and your physical body is not yet formed.

One of the most famous embryos in the history of the world was the child of Uttara and Abhimanyu, Pariksit by name. He was the grandson of the celebrated Arjuna – another royal – and even in the womb he was attacked. When Krishna gave him mystical protection, his life was spared and he lived to become famous as the great hearer of the Bhagavata Purana. His name means ‘the examiner’ as he was always looking at people’s faces to see whether he could recognise the Person who saved him in the womb.

While Kate’s foetus, barely 12 weeks in existence is already being personified as ‘a girl,’  and ‘royalty,’ just streets away from the Edward VII Hospital another foetus of 24 weeks will tonight be removed from her mother’s womb after being de-personified as ’tissue.’

Only when all life is venerated as a gift will we be able to call ourselves civilized.