We’ve all seen the iconic images countless times: the Duchess of Cambridge standing on the steps of the Lindo Wing hospital in London, just as her late mother-in-law Diana did before her, beaming with pride and holding a swaddled bundle that contained first Prince George, then Princess Charlotte and then Prince Louis.
The photos are circulated immediately and seen by millions of people all over the world. Each time, as well as lovely comments about the babies or how brave Kate has been, stepping out of the hospital to face the world so soon after giving birth (it was mere hours after she delivered Louis in 2018), there is also an intense scrutiny of her appearance from her outfit choice, to her hair, or the fact she was wearing heels for each photo op.
In the midst of the debate as to whether Kate’s sister-in-law Meghan will follow in the footsteps of royal mothers before her and pose for photos, parenting company Fridababy took a full-page ad out in the New York Times, urging the Duchess of Sussex to skip the tradition for the sake of other mums.
“Dear Royal mom-to-be” the open letter, written by Fridababy CEO and mum of three, Chelsea Hirschhorn, begins.
“Sure your blowout will be perfect for your hospital step photo-op, but people will be opining on all the wrong things – like how soon you will fit into your pre-baby wardrobe – instead of having an honest conversation about what women go through during birth and immediately thereafter,” the letter reads.
Hirschhorn goes on to ask Meghan to show solidarity with fellow mums and mums-to-be by ‘keeping it real’ and not glossing over, “the raw aftermath of what your body just went through.”
“So when the “big reveal” day arrives but you’re feeling like all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put your vagina back together again – use this stage to do your part for all women,” Chelsea urges, “’Skip the pomp and circumstance of the baby parade.”
“Let the headlines instead read: ‘Prince Brings Royal Baby Out Because Mom Is in Bed Sitting on a Pack of Ice’ – and if you really can’t skip it, then at the very least flash us a glimpse of the mesh underwear underneath,” Chelsea quips.
Fridababy is known for its refreshingly honest approach to parenting, stating on their website: “Fridababy is the brand that gets parents. That means you. We are not a lifestyle. Far from it. We are a solution-based brand. The 411 of parenting.” So for fans of the brand, their stance on the royal post-birth photo shoot will be unsurprising.
The letter has amassed a huge outpouring of support and praise from people globally, with many women sharing their respect for the ‘raw and real’ open letter.
While it’s not known if Meghan is aware of the letter or the buzz that it has created, royal insiders say that the Duchess of Sussex isn’t planning on taking part in ‘the baby parade’ as far as they know at this stage.
“At the moment, we understand that she isn’t, she doesn’t want to do that, isn’t going to do that,” Emily Andrews, royal correspondent for The Sun, said on royal podcast On Heir.
Instead, it is believed that the proud parents will share a photo of their new baby on their new created Instagram account @SussexRoyal when they are ready to share their baby joy with the world.
“We’ll be rooting for you on your path to recovery and hope you take all the time you need,” Chelsea finished her letter by saying – we couldn’t agree more!