A sense of weary resignation at the crashing and predictable money-grabbing vulgarity of it all rather than shock pervades the Royalist’s delicate sensibility today as we contemplate the ghastly truth that Zara Phillips has sold the first pictures of her baby Mia, the queen's fourth great-grandchild, to Hello! Magazine.
They are spread across 13 pages of the European celeb weekly.
It’s out today, complete with details of how Zara decided to have an epidural in advance rather than try and ‘fight the pain’, and the admission that she hired a maternity nurse for the first four days.
Buckingham Palace are declining to comment on the Queen's reaction, merely stating that how Zara handles her publicity is up to her, but trust me - she's bound to be at least as depressed by this latest example of royal cashing-in (and please don't start on the 'Zara's not an HRH' argument) as she was when Zara's brother, the feeble Peter Phillips (or 'King Peter' as he is mockingly known by some detractors as his Canadian wife gave up her Catholic faith when he married her to ensure he could still technically succeed to the throne) sold his wedding pictures to the same publication. Still, at least Zara’s pictures don’t include all the other Royals, like Peter’s did.
It’s particularly galling to see Zara turning her baby into a cash cow as she was the one member of the Royal family who appeared to actually, if not exactly work for a living, at least to have become successful, as an Olympic showjumper, on her own achievements.
It's moment like these that leave one longing for the days when all aristocrats regarded being in the papers as unbearably naff, and aspired to a life of quiet obscurity.