Royal Babies in the (Belle Epoque) News

The media-saturated arrival of King George Alexander Louis seems like a good time to remember that the fascination with royal babies is as old as media culture itself. In the 1900s, royals were the most popular kind of celebrities,  featured in issue after issue of Femina and La Vie Heureuse, alongside the most successful actors, writers, painters and musicians of the day. Just as now, pictures of princesses with their babies helped readers to believe that “they’re just like us!”  As a 1904 story about Princess Ingeborg of Sweden notes, “The happiness of a princess, whatever we might think, is no different from that of other women. Loving her children and  husband tenderly melts the heart of a royal majesty, just as it does a butcher’s daughter… ”  Even if you’ve had enough royal baby mania for one week, how can you resist, really, queens giving piggy-back rides, or a tender father tzar and baby tzar moment?

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