Maybe she really is Kate the Great.
The Duchess of Cambridge appeared on the steps of St. Mary’s hospital in London on Tuesday afternoon—less than 24 hours after she gave birth to a future king—and she looked goddam fabulous.
The former Kate Middleton showed off newly blow-dried hair, perfectly subtle makeup, and a sky blue (for boy?) Jenny Packham polka-dotted frock with a high-waisted elastic waistband and wedge heels. It was an outfit that recalled the green polka-dot dress Princess Diana wore to appear after giving birth to Prince William in 1982 on the exact same steps.
Relaxed and smiley, Kate held her son in a white eyelet blanket, later passing him to William, in open compliance with the needs of the news crews stationed outside. Wills was loose, working the cameras with jokes about his new baby. “He has way more hair than me,” he laughed, adding that his son had inherited his mother’s looks—to which Kate batted her eyelashes and denied all accusations.
Meanwhile, the most watched and scrutinized woman in the world (she’s well known for sneaking into and out of buildings) was just standing there with her new baby, laughing. It was weird and wonderful. The choice to give interviews was a shocking move for the notoriously private couple, or perhaps a signal of their savvy with the changing social media landscape.
Kate was the picture of elegance on the steps of St. Mary’s, what’s left of her baby bump still visible under the blue dress. It was a refreshing image in a world where bumps are scrutinized, used to fat-shame women, and expected to immediately go away thanks to workouts and fad diets. This is what it looks like after you have a baby, people!
It was a poignant moment also reminiscent of the time Princess Diana was photographed in a bikini while pregnant on vacation in the Bahamas with Prince Charles. “Itsy-Bitsy Suit for Mum-To-Be!” screamed a headline in The Star. When she learned of what the papers had published, Queen Elizabeth II called it “the blackest day in the history of British journalism.”
If today’s appearance on the steps was any indication, it’s a whole new era.