We are all delighted at the news that William and Kate are expecting their first child, but sorry to hear poor Kate's having a rough time of it and has been hospitalised for 'severe morning sickness'.
When I heard the news reporters use the term, I was sceptical. 'Morning sickness' doesn't tend to debilitate women so much that they need to be kept in hospital for three days. However, in extreme cases dehydration sets in rapidly with some women, meaning that saline drips and a watchful eye are in order- especially where the woman in question is carrying a future monarch. It's not just the 'feeling a bit sick' feeling that will see a GP or midwife recommend dry toast and ginger biscuits (I swear by the latter after two babies and some awful sickness.) Dehydration on this level will put both mum and baby at risk- and this is what they should have reported.
It does throw up (excuse the pun) some interesting points as to how employers might handle a similar situation. While there are potentially huge issues affecting a business where an employee is unexpectedly away from work, the rights and care rightly offered to pregnant women mean employers must tread carefully and show sensitivity where there's anxiety on this scale for the expectant parents. Adding to it will do you and the parents no favours, and may damage the working relationship beyond repair.
So, employers: how good is your maternity policy? Would you know what to do if you had your own Kate on board? If not, you know what to do.
This is good news of course; Kate is in good hands and I am sure all will be well, and as a bonus, the law is finally to be changed to allow the first born child to maintain their place in line to the throne- regardless of whether they happen to be a girl.
We should be proud of our Queens; Elizabeth I and Victoria presided over times of great change, upheaval, enlightenment and challenge, and our own Elizabeth II has just celebrated 60 years as Queen. She too has seen enormous change- consider her time fixing jeeps in the war, being the first monarch to broadcast a Christmas message to the country via television, completing a parachute jump with James Bond (yes, we know) and seeing turmoil of a nature previously unknown (or just unreported) in the Royal Family.
Now I am pondering a 'What Business Can Learn from the Queen' blog. Any thoughts?
We hope that Princess Frances Elizabeth (yes, we're calling it now, place your bets) will find her place in history, and is welcomed by her family and the nation with love.