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Could new royal heir put an end to ‘ginger phobia’?

Britain's Prince William leaves the King Edward VII hospital with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in London, Dec. 6, 2012. The Duchess spent four days in hospital being treated for acute morning sickness.

Andrew Winning/Reuters

The first and foremost consideration regarding the baby born to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge is that he or she is healthy with all 10 fingers and 10 toes.

But in typical British fashion, there already seems to be some anxiety over the possibility that the child might emerge as a … ginger.

Because, apparently, being born a redhead ensures a life sentence of mockery.

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An article in Friday's Independent, written by auburn-haired journalist Harriet Jaine, explores "ginger prejudice" and the royal precedent toward strawberry blond locks.

"Maybe this would be the final nail in the coffin for ginger phobia," she opines.

The article also points out the year's most vilified woman, redhead Rebekah Brooks, proved one of those stereotypically fiery, tempestuous types. She neglected to mention Lindsay Lohan.

Which is not to say that their hair was responsible for their wrongdoings so much as the most important signifier of their image – and what many see as the outer manifestation of their "slightly unhinged" personalities.

But what seems like a trite concern gains a bit more substance in the comment section where myriad fellow gingers are sharing their stories about lifelong bullying (until, that is, they go grey).

"I can't believe it is still a problem in this day and age. In my experience, the name 'ginger' is used as a derogatory term for anyone who has ginger hair. I love being a ginger but I hate the way it is used to talk down someone rather than celebrating a rare and special colour," a user writes under the name MSteele.

If England's future heir ends up with red hair (and let's not forget that Prince Harry's mop is rather auburn-hued), this might prove salvation for gingers the world over.

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Anyway, it would not be unprecedented; the article notes that Henry II, Henry III and Elizabeth I also had crowns of red hair.

Apparently, bookies have already started to take bets. Current odds of a ginger, ahem, strawberry blond baby: 8 to 1.

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