Babies are a gift, no matter whom they belong to, and as we age past the point of expecting any more of our own, we take our excitement over them wherever we can get it.
Today we, along with millions of others around the world, got our baby excitement from a young couple in London who will share their little boy with the whole planet because the child will some day become King of England.
Regardless of one’s views about the monarchy, today was like other great ceremonial days in the world of the British royals, and therefore the country that supports them: It was a day for the people to participate in the ritual, even if just to eagerly wait for the news to be announced via press release.
Much will be written about the meaning of this baby and much speculation will abound. Will he be the first people’s prince? Will he look like Diana Spencer’s side of the family? Will granddad Prince Charles meet him before the Queen does? Wouldn’t Diana have made a young and effervescent granny?
Of course, the family is over the moon. Great-granny — Queen Elizabeth herself, who already has two great-grandchildren — left her beloved vacation home to return to Buckingham Palace, and this is not a woman who veers from her plans lightly. But how could she not? The Queen, who puts duty and obligation before almost everything in her life, knows her mantel will eventually pass to this child.
Now that Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee has been celebrated and she has a new third heir to the throne, perhaps she will consider retiring. She’s not known to be trendy, but should Elizabeth, 87, abdicate in favor of Prince Charles, 64, she would be following in the footsteps of Belgium’s King Albert, 79, who did just that on July 21 in favor of his son Philippe, 53, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, 75, who last spring handed the reign to son Willem-Alexander, 46.
But let’s not go there just yet. First, there is a family moment to celebrate — then a name to announce, a christening to plan, a family portrait to orchestrate. A new royal life begins.
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