The Universe gave us an early Christmas present this morning – or, in Greenwich Mean Time, this afternoon. Former News of the World tabloid editors are on trial in London for allegedly hacking the phones of hundreds of British celebrities between 2000 and 2006. Among the victims: Kate Middleton, bride and baby mama to Prince William.
Today, transcripts of voicemail messages from Wills to his then-girlfriend were read aloud in court, which, come on, was probably legally unnecessary, yet absolutely mandatory in that the world needed to hear them. Why? Because he – His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge – calls her – Princess Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge – “babykins.”
Babykins. Not “baby,” no, no way, that wouldn’t be nearly adorable enough. Yes, phone hacking is always an unacceptable violation of privacy, but permit me to take a small amount of joy in this.
Will and Kate are a refreshingly modern couple, constantly redefining what we imagine “royalty” to be. Remember that, before 1981’s Royal Wedding, 20-year-old Diana Spencer was required to undergo a medical exam to prove that she was a virgin. Kate and Will had been dating on and off for eight years before they got married in 2011. Virginity test? Uh, they declined, thanks but no thanks. There’s no single word that better epitomizes the changing tides the pair represents than the goofy, unadorned sweetness of “babykins.” (That said: Prince Philip fondly calls his wife, a lady you might know as Queen Elizabeth II, “cabbage” and “sausage.” I know, right?)
Keep doing you, Mr. and Mrs. Babykins. And if you wouldn’t mind making seven more Royal Babies, we’re more than ready to start production on Will & Kate Plus Eight.