Today we set aside the common-sense concerns of day-to-day life and such looming dangers as worldwide economic chaos and catastrophic climate change to hold our collective breath over the imminent birth of a child.
No, it’s not the Second Coming, but it is a welcome distraction.
A young Englishwoman is about to have a baby.
Yes, I know, young Englishwomen have babies all the time. So do young American women, young Canadian women, young Jamaican women…
It’s one of the things women – young and not-so-young – do.
But this is special. This is Kate’s baby. This baby is royal.
I have never been able to grasp the concept of royalty. It has always seemed weird to me. What makes some people royal and other people not royal?
The teachers at Munro College told me about an ancient doctrine called the Divine Right of Kings. It goes something like this: The fact that someone becomes king (or queen) means that God intended them to. If an omnipotent God did not want this individual to sit on the throne, it couldn’t happen.
That line of thought opens up a flood of distressing questions, and I’d rather not go there. Not today when I would prefer to join the celebration over the birth of this royal child. We have so little to celebrate these days.
I cannot justify it intellectually, of course. But then I cannot justify the widespread joy over Mick Jagger’s 70th birthday, either. I am at a loss to explain the deification of rock stars and other entertainers. And sports celebrities. And even clowns like Donald Trump and Paris Hilton. To discuss that phenomenon, I would have to expose my pitifully inadequate knowledge of the human mind – and even worse – the human heart.
You tell me what you think. I’m just a reporter; I report what I see and hear. And sometimes I don’t really understand it.
No, I cannot make sense of a monarchy, and all that the system implies. But as I grow older, I am finding it almost as difficult to make sense of democracy – or any form of government, for that matter.
Still, I won’t bother my poor brain with such thoughts today. Kate is having a baby, and I pray for the angels to watch over her and her child.
For reasons which I cannot fathom, I will feel better if this baby enters the world in triumph.