What life will be like for the newest member of 10 Downing Street
London - For an infant it is a princely playground, from the private walled garden to the giant nursery installed by a predecessor but one. But while this child-friendly idyll may be the perfect place to raise a baby, it is also a surreal one.
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’ newborn son was welcomed into a world where his first companions will be the custodians, gardeners and policemen who keep Downing Street ticking over. It is they who will witness his first steps and daily excursions pushed in a pram to St James’s Park.
Mealtimes will echo to the constant tread of civil servants switching between No 11 – where baby Johnson and his parents will live on two spacious floors – and the office next door at No 10 from where his father runs the country.
Although he is the third child to be born to a serving prime minister this century – Leo Blair in 2000 and Florence Cameron in 2010 are the others – he nevertheless joins an exclusive club of babies born when their father was PM.
In the weeks to come the clutter of the nursery, nappies, babygrows and toys will pile up alongside the in-trays of government papers and the red boxes of the First Lord of the Treasury.
Welcome to the complicated family life of Prime Minister Johnson and his fiancée, who has already acquired the teasing nickname FLOTUS – as in First Lady of the United States – from those who feel that at 32 Carrie has a little too much ambition for her own good.
Motherhood, however, might be about to change all that.
For Boris there will be precious little time to get to know his latest child. Downing Street have made clear there will be no paternity leave. He has, however, told staff he will be changing nappies.
The No 11 apartment where the child will be brought up is certainly big enough with five bedrooms, and a sleekly modern stainless steel kitchen and living area set in an open plan arrangement designed by a previous incumbent, Samantha Cameron.
It was Cameron who also configured a playroom for her three children. When she first arrived baby Florence did not have a cot so she slept in a cardboard box with her name stencilled on the side by her sister Nancy. Later as she grew up Florence took to propelling herself along the carpeted corridors connecting No 10 and 11 on a pink scooter, stopping to visit members of staff who gave her sweets.
But like No 10, No 11 is a working environment. On the floors below the family’s apartment are the offices of the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and his staff. Of course there will be one playmate for the new baby, Dilyn, Boris and Carrie’s Jack Russell cross terrier. For the new parents – and dog owners – their secluded garden, reached down a private staircase will be a welcome refuge.
In David Cameron’s time the garden was often filled with toys – as he suggested to Boris and Carrie in a congratulatory message on Twitter: "Sam and I are thrilled for you both! Sorry we didn’t leave the cot – but the climbing frame should still be in the garden!"
The couple are giving little away about what kind of child care they will have and whether there will be a nanny. Indeed such was the level of secrecy surrounding the baby’s birth on Wednesday that it was being likened to that of Archie to Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex.
Like the royal birth, no details were given about where the PM’s baby was born – apart from the fact that it was at a London NHS hospital. Though the Palace released Archie’s weight, we have yet to learn baby Johnson’s.Daily Mail