Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Welcome to His Royal Highness the Prince of Cambridge
As the resident Brit (at least, the one still in residence in Britain) it probably falls to me to blog about the great events of yesterday (and today - as I write this we are awaiting the announcements of the little heir's name) and I'm happy to have that honour. I'm a bit of a royalist, and really admire the royal family and all the hard work they put on our behalf. They may be as dysfunctional as any other family, but the history and duty inherent in who they are and what they do transcends that.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are a happy, young couple welcoming their first child into the world, so it's lovely that the world is celebrating with them. Admittedly most families don't get to have the bells of Westminster Abbey chime for three hours, or a gun salute, or a town crier, when their children are born, but this baby will have the weight of duty and expectation on him for his whole life. The insane and doubtless intimidating media scrum outside the hospital and the palace are something he will face on almost a daily basis. Don't forget that his grandmother was, in a manner of speaking, killed by the paparazzi.
I'm loving all this wonderful pomp and pageantry. Like the NHS, the BBC and thatched cottages, it's something that's quintessentially British and brilliant. There are those, of course, who ask why this one family are entitled to own half of Cornwall, live in a string of luxury palaces and have servants to wait on their every whim. Well, they certainly work hard so I don't begrudge them any of it. Someone worked out that it costs every man, woman and child in the UK 67p a year to pay for the royal family. That's just under $1. They don't have any real power any more and are required to be politically neutral, but they are wonderful ambassadors for Britain and the Commonwealth. They also bring in far more in revenue than they cost the country.
I probably won't live to see the little prince become King, but he might rule over my children. That thought makes me very much aware of the historic importance of this event.