princess kate

Poor Princess Kate. Days past her reported due date, the pregnant mama is probably swollen, tired, and just ready to get this show on the road. To her credit, she's being a good sport about the world's obsession with her bump, even going so far as to send pastries to well-wishers camped outside of the hospital where she'll evenutally deliver. Still, I have to think she's feeling the pressure from the so-called "Great Kate Wait."

Adding a wrinkle to things? Her father-in-law, Prince Charles. At an event this week in Windsor Castle, the next-in-line casually let it drop that he and wife Camilla are "hoping for a granddaughter." (William and Kate have chosen not to find out their baby's gender before the birth.) And you know if he's telling perfect strangers his preference, he's probably been yakking about it with his son and daughter-in-law for the last nine months.

The upside is that Prince Charles went public with his opinion this late in the game, whereas most eager grandparents-to-be let that stuff fly as soon as you tell them you're pregnant. And talk about added pressure! The day after I broke the news to my parents, my dad and I were having lunch and he announced he knew I was having a girl. So sure was he that he even picked out a name for her: Hannah. (Um, how thoughtful?) For the next several weeks, until an ultrasound revealed I was having a boy, every conversation involved "Hannah": How she'd love stamps as much as he does. How he would show her how to bait a hook and change a tire. How they'd be the best of friends. The happy little world he created for himself and my unborn child was so vivid that when I found out I was having a boy, I almost hesitated to tell him. I did, of course, and he took the news in stride: it took him about 20 seconds to mentally unhook his dreams of a granddaughter and latch on to the reality of a grandson.

Considering how much scrutiny the royal pregnancy has already received, my bet is that Princess Kate is a seasoned pro at deflecting pressure, even when it comes from the future king. Because royalty or no, in the end, they want what we all want for the young family: a happy, healthy baby -- whenever he or she decides to arrive.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Image of Princess Kate courtesy of Shutterstock