There’s a stereotype, not entirely undeserved, that royal lineages suffer from inbreeding and other genetic disorders. The British monarchy is no exception, and geneticists have made parlour sport out of predicting the family’s imminent and inevitable decline into grotesque deformity for quite some time. This post is just meant to pile on by presenting additional evidence of genetic breakdown following the recent birth of the future tyrant King George Alexander Louis VII [with those namesakes, how could he turn out to be anything but?].
Specifically, I’m talking about the ability to properly secure a seatbelt. Prince William and Duchess Kate caught some flak after appearing in public the first time for the way they fastened their precious bundle into his car seat:
Once photos of the debut appeared online, viewers noticed something apparently amiss with how the Royal Baby’s car seat was secured.
Childcare blog Baby Center pointed to website ChildCarSeats.co.uk, which states that the belt should be properly adjusted across the child, laying tightly against the body so only two fingers can fit between the chest and harness. The blog’s community started buzzing.
“If you scroll down to the photos of the baby in the carseat you will see he is not properly strapped in AT ALL!!” wrote one commenter. “Very disappointed! I’m sure they were in a hurry, and I hope that Kate will fix it once they are in the vehicle as it appeared she was sitting in back with the baby.”
Other apparent mistakes were pointed out on iVillage, which advised parents to “[n]ever put a swaddled baby in a car seat.” The site also advised that car seat “[s]houlder straps [should] go over baby’s shoulders … [and] should be snug enough that baby can’t get hands under them.” Woops.
Some royal baby-watchers speculated that certain elements of the baby’s initial appearance were meant as an homage to Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana — and more specifically, his own first appearance in public:
The scene was reminiscent of when William was introduced to the world by his parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana outside the same hospital wing in 1982.
If the tribute was indeed intentional, this seatbelt fail is unlikely to have made Di smile down from heaven, as she seems to have suffered from similar difficulties — and learned her lesson all too late:
Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed would have survived if they had been wearing seatbelts when their car crashed, a police expert told the inquest into their deaths yesterday.
Senior accident investigator Anthony Read said he could “almost guarantee” that the couple would have survived had they been strapped in and travelling at the speed limit when their Mercedes crashed in Paris’s Alma tunnel.
If even the commoners who marry into the royal family pass on the least-adaptive of their own genetic inheritance, what chance does the monarchy have?
And now for that glimmer of hope: just because Diana and William can’t work a seatbelt doesn’t mean Georgy can’t either. There’s always the possibility that the royal baby will inherit some seatbelt sensibility from his mother, who hails from the wee town of Bucklebury.
Admittedly, this post is in rather poor taste — and might be blocked by David Cameron’s brand-new all-encompassing internet filter — but it’s always worth seizing the opportunity to remind y’all to Buckleham [Palace] up.