Hilary Mantel was vilified last year for suggesting that the media treat Kate as "a shop window mannequin whose only purpose is to breed" with a rush to portray those views as hers and not what she was describing in the press. But was she wrong?
As soon as the royal wedding happened there was speculation about how soon Kate could/would get pregnant. I even heard people say there were rumours she had to have fertility testing before being allowed to marry in. And once she'd produced a future king, new speculation about the second pregnancy began quickly. The old 'heir and a spare' reasoning still seems to be in full force. Or maybe she just wants a big family. Maybe we'll see the palaces filled with half a dozen youngsters learning innate privilege and a lack of any really useful social skills.
It might be apparent that I'm not exactly a fan of the royals as an institution (top tip: don't tell your senior manager you think the monarchy should be abolished when you're working in the civil service. It doesn't go over too well). But, as distant as they are from most of our lives, they are still real people. And the treatment of any woman in the public eye as purely there to provide breeding (and perhaps a bit of eye candy) is uncomfortable.
Imagine if instead of a slightly pushy aunt at a family party, that was the Daily Mail on a semi-weekly basis.
It's no secret that we have this weird belief that accomplished women who haven't had kids have somehow failed, but of course if you fail to do so as the wife of the future king then you haven't JUST let yourself down, you've let your family and your sex, but an entire country down as well. You might be charming, capable, intelligent, well-educated and better at small talk than a microbiologist: that's just The Way It Is.
But it's all a reminder that the institutions - namely, the monarchy and the media - that head up and comment on our country are both deeply warped.
I have no problem with any woman choosing to have children, choosing to be a full time mother or not to work so she can stay at home and look after her children (although there are thousands who would love that option and are forced to work to cover their living costs). The government and right wing press will look on admirably while a royal raises her children, with a small army of nannies and helpers, but vilify women who sacrifice and save to give their children the best support they can but have the audacity to do so on a punitively low wage or while unemployed.
Kate will continue to live in her gilded cage with her children, and other women across the country will struggle to make ends meet, and we'll all go on acting as if that's the natural order of things.