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The royal baby and the fiscal cliff
December 4, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
One of my Facebook friends posted a picture of Prince William and the former Catherine Middleton with an X over their faces and this caption: "The fiscal cliff is more important than the royal baby." I agree, though my math skills are so weak that the best I can find to say about the fiscal cliff is that I hope Congress stops squabbling long enough to solve the problem. It will undoubtedly involve some painful cuts that no one wants to make and much finger pointing and screeches of protest from all involved.
The royal baby to be is a welcome momentary distraction from the disgraceful spectacle that is Congress at "work." It's also a lot more fun to gossip about the ordinary problems of people who are rich beyond the dreams of avarice. William's poor Duchess is apparently in the hospital with a rare complication of pregnancy that makes ordinary morning sickness look like the common cold.
Another of my Facebook friends, an ardent feminist, posted "Kate, the baby had BETTER be a girl." Assuming that there is even a monarchy in the year 2062, the child will still be a figurehead monarch who does little more than cut ribbons and shake hands and ride in parades. I don't think his or her gender will do much to advance the cause of women's rights.
But all that said, I am interested in the royal family for much the same reason I am interested in other history. It's a story about people. Now, it would have been titillating if this child's great-great-great uncle Eddy had really been Jack the Ripper, as some novelists and movie makers have speculated, but he was really a rather stupid playboy who died, much to everyone's relief, before he could mount the throne. Eddy's fiancee ended up marrying George, the somewhat smarter and steadier next brother in line, who went on to become King George V, this youngster's great-great-great grandfather. Most of the royal family are similarly ordinary-looking people with average abilities who have been born or married into an extraordinary position, which is always rather interesting.
There will be a media frenzy surrounding the unborn heir to the throne over the next seven months or so and probably more after that and I am not above a certain amount of joining in. There's already a pool over what names will be chosen: Elizabeth is considered the safest choice and Rylan the least. My personal predictions: Arthur or George or Albert for a boy; Alice, Victoria or Alexandra for a girl. An American forensic artist has produced forensic drawings of what the heir might look like that bear a strong resemblance to the little demon child from "Omen" or a werewolf baby straight out of the Twilight series.
It's all in good fun and I suppose we will find some time to discuss the fiscal cliff too.
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