Earlier this year Booker prizewinning author Hillary Mantel compared the monarchy to pandas during her speech at the British Museum, saying…
“Our current royal family doesn’t have the difficulties in breeding that pandas do, but pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren’t they interesting? Aren’t they nice to look at? Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage.”
Of course, at the time, she couldn’t have anticipated that five months later, both Princess Kate and a giant panda named Lun Lun would give birth within weeks of each other.
But that’s just what has happened.
This last week international media have been camped outside a London hospital eagerly awaiting news of the birth of a royal.
But while they were waiting, another important birth was happening across the ocean in America. Giant panda Lun Lun gave birth to not one but two tiny cubs last Monday at Zoo Atlanta. They are the first twin pandas to be born in the United States since 1987.
It’s going to take some time before they look like the cuddy and clumsy Giant Pandas we all know and love but already the twins are capturing the attention and the hearts of panda lovers all over the world.
The twin boys have yet to be named and will not make their debut until some time in the fall.
But thanks to modern technology anyone can follow their growth and milestones on YouTube and ZooAtlanta’s PandaCam.
As for the royal watch, word has it Princess Kate will soon give birth. But don’t hold your breathe waiting for a RoyalBabyCam or a Royal Baby playlist on YouTube.
(photo of Lun Lun by joelrivlin via flickr)