Sarah Hall

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I’m sure the Duchess of Cambridge is a perfectly nice young woman.

I’m sure her and Prince William have a genuine and happy marriage and I’m sure they’re both incredibly excited about the impending birth of their first child.

And I’m equally sure that I don’t have to be excited about it in any way at all. Because I’m not, I’m really not, and as the months go on and she becomes more and more visibly pregnant I fear my only reaction will be one of boredom.

I’m not, never have been, never will be, a baby sort of person.

I don’t ooh and aah over the contents of prams and I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in hearing about the finer details of anyone’s pregnancy – and this includes friends, not just the celebrities I see in Hello magazine when I go to the hairdresser.

So what I do not want to see in the coming months is a continuous stream of pictures illustrating the progress of the Duchess of Cambridge’s ‘baby bump’ (I cringed as a typed that, I so utterly loathe that phrase).

Last week the Duchess Formerly Known As Kate went on an official visit during which she ‘showed off’ her (cringe again) ‘baby bump’.

This is what every paper and website in the land had to say anyway. But no, no, no, I beg to differ.

She did not ‘show off’ her bump.

She did not get out of her royal car pointing to her expectant belly in a cut-off top yelling “Hey, look at me being all pregnant and everything, get a load of this slight bulge, isn’t it fanastic!”

She did not do this at all. She simply wore a dress that did indeed show a hint of being a bit pregnant. She wasn’t showing it off. She just wasn’t hiding it.

Nor was she revealing it, which is another favourite tabloid phrase which just makes me imagine her shouting “Ta-dah!”while dramatically removing some kind of spangly drape which had been disguising it. She didn’t do that either.

In reality what she was doing was just being pregnant. It’s all perfectly normal, even if the inhabitant of the bulge causing all the commotion is the future monarch of the land.

The Duchess isn’t the only woman whose body comes under such ridiculous scrutiny when with child of course.

Everyone from Angelina Jolie to Coleen Rooney to someone who appeared in EastEnders for all of three episodes gets the same treatment – although it all gets a bit more hysterical when it’s an actual royal baby and not just Hollywood or soap royalty of course.

Some people may be really fascinated by all this but to me if you’ve seen one celebrity pregnancy bulge you’ve seen them all – because they do all look the same don’t they? Even if they are draped in (sorry – shown off in) Armani and Burberry.

The thing is, sometimes the women in question aren’t even pregnant.

Some time ago I saw something on a front page screaming about Jennifer Aniston being pictured with an obvious BB. Now I saw her at the Oscars the other night (on TV, invite got lost in the post again) and, several months on, she still didn’t look that pregnant to me. Although having done a quick Google check everyone else in the world does seem to think she is absolutely, definitely, pregnant. And have done every single week since 2001.

So when did this strange obsession begin, because I’m sure I can remember a time when papers and magazines weren’t all just full of close-ups of women’s stomachs.

Shall we blame the internet? It’s probably because of the internet. So yes, the internet gets the blame.

And I probably haven’t helped the situation by typing ‘Jennifer Aniston baby bump’ into a leading internet search engine.

I fear the worst is yet to come though. Because after the new royal is born you know what we’re going to get then – picture after picture after picture of poor Kate’s non-pregnant stomach along with a running commentary on how quickly she’s losing the baby weight.

She certainly won’t be able to win there because if she loses it too quickly she’ll probably be accused of adopting dangerous crash diets and being a bad role model. If she loses it too slowly she’ll be accused of being a bit like, well, a normal person and therefore a bad role model.

The latter won’t happen though because the Duchess, I suspect, will not allow it to.

She knows she’ll be expected to be the shape of a stick insect within 30 minutes of the cord being cut and will have an army of dieticians and personal trainers on hand to make sure there’s no unfortunate photos.

It’s an exhausting and difficult business being pregnant for any woman. For a celebrity it really must be incredibly hard work.