This cartoon by Andy Davey from The Sun mixes two news stories. The first is that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant and has been admitted to hospital with a rare form of severe morning sickness. The second is a report which claims that hospitals are "full to bursting", with bed occupancy rates often well above 85%, the maximum for patients to be well looked after and not exposed to health risks.
Kate is lying in a hospital bed in the pre-natal ward. She's attached to an IV drip. Her husband Prince William is at her side. At the opposite end of the bed is another patient who tells Kate, "This hospital overcrowding is worse than ever, isn't it, Ma'am?"
1. H.R.H. is an abbreviation for Her Royal Highness.
2. If there is a problem of overcrowding, there are more people in a place than it was designed for. The prefix "over" often has the meaning of "too much", e.g., overcharge, overbooked, overdo, overdose, overdressed, overdrawn, overeat, overestimate, etc., etc.
3. A ward is a room in a hospital which has beds for many people.
4. Ma'am is a very formal and polite way of addressing a woman of superior rank or status.