I have changed the colour of my font today, in honour of the subject of this post!
Birth is an everyday occurrence. Every minute on Earth, a child enters the world. For his/her parents, their extended families and friends, it is the greatest and proudest moment imaginable - but to everyone else, it is an unremarkable occurrence. It is just another life cycle beginning. The father will walk around with that "My baby is here. I made a small person" dazed expression on his face, whilst chugging back a pint to wet the baby's head, whilst the mother will be holding her child close, feeding, nurturing, and being treated like a Queen by those around her. Then in a few weeks time, the flush of new parenthood will have settled down, and this new life will be a routine.
The baby will do as all babies do - feed, cry, burp, make a mess of their nappy, sleep, and repeat. They will lay there, staring and taking in the world around them, not knowing what is going on, or who they are. That will come with time. They will grow, develop their own identity, and be the writer of their own life story.
In St Mary's Hospital yesterday, a child was born, not just to his parents, but to the world. The big difference with this child, is that his future life story has already been written by tradition. The World expects huge things of him, and yet he is not even 24 hours into his life outside of his Mother.
The evolution of Media into the massive fishbowl it has become today, has led to an insane lack of privacy for the Royal Family. Catherine was unable to enjoy a holiday in peace, being photographed topless by a member of the paparazzi; Prince Harry was similarly photographed naked in private. Our perception of the Royal Family has naturally changed during this evolution. There is now a feeling that the Royals belong to us - that they are public property. This sense of "belonging" does not only apply to the public of the United Kingdom, or other Commonwealth countries. Countries from all over the world watch the comings and goings of our Monarchy with great interest.
The ink was still wet on the Wedding register when speculation began on how long it would be before the newest member of the Royal Family would arrive.
From the very second the Duchess was admitted to hospital with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, the media whirlwind gathered enormous pace. I was somewhat surprised when I saw that the story had a huge presence across the world media as well as within the United Kingdom, but it only served to reinforce the fact that our Royals are viewed as arguably the most famous ruling family on Earth - and a huge draw for tourists in the bargain.
The intense media scrutiny of this birth cannot have been easy for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Yet they have handled it, seemingly with ease. They know they had a duty to bring this child into the world, as a future Monarch of Great Britain, and the Commonwealth. They will be looking into his small eyes, knowing that he will constantly be watched as he grows up.
His birth has sparked a negative reaction from the Anti-Monarchists. Phrases such as "silver spoon" have been bandied around, and the fact that His Royal Highness has been born into a world of riches has proved a massive irritant to many. It cannot be denied that this small human is going to have the best education and upbringing money can buy - but he will NEED it to be a grounded, intelligent and fair King. Prince William, his wife, and his brother have proved, along with their cousins, and subsequently their elders, that the Royal Family is no longer the staid, offhand figurehead that it once was. All of the "young" generation have left education and taken up a job. A job - not just lounging around at home. Princes William and Harry are both serving their country, at a time when so many armed forces are doing the same. They do not get privileges for doing so. They perform the same duties that any soldier would do. They balance this with being charity patrons, and also attending Royal engagements - not just in the UK, but all over the World. Would you really describe the above as an easy life? I'm sure there are days when all the Royals wish they were just members of the general public, able to do as they please. They are not, and they have a huge weight on their shoulders. They are born into a position of power, certainly; but with great power comes great responsibility. This is a role which requires a huge amount of work, which is not always conducted in the public eye.
Today, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, instead of meeting his first Grandson, are meeting people in Yorkshire, as previously planned. How many first time Grandparents are unlikely to see their newest family member until his second, or even third day of life? How many women do you know, who are still working at 80+? Gone are the days when the Royals sat in their palaces every day. Instead, we have a ruling family, who understand their importance to their duties and their subjects, and whilst they will always respect the need for tradition, they are moving with the times, and becoming a modern family unit.
I am proud of our Monarchy. They represent our country well, and they show that they are human beings, not "blue blooded snobs". I find it incredibly interesting to see that as time passes, we are able to relate to them more and more; Prince Harry goes out and parties just like any other lad his age. The Duchess of Cambridge shops on the High Street, and anything she wears sells out within hours of the photos being published. Prince William visits people, and talks to them like equals, unlike previous generations who would never have imagined they would mingle with the "commoners". It is endearing, and I sense a real shift in opinion when compared to the debate about abolishing the Monarchy some years ago. A real revolution has taken place in our Royal Family, and I firmly believe it will continue, particularly under the reign of Prince (King!) William.
Monday 22nd July 2013 at 16:24
The day that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a tiny person into the world. A tiny person, who will grow into a King. He doesn't know it yet, but the public do. The waiting is over, and he is now not only a Son to his parents, he is a Son to the World.
Welcome to the World, Your Royal Highness. You have inherited one of the most important and recognised positions in the World. I hope your shoulders are broad, and that you have the wonderfully kind nature of your parents. Your story may be already written, but I am sure you will move with the times as your family has done, and be able to write some of your own chapters too. I probably won't be around to see you as King, but I wish you all the luck in the World.