Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Tuesday 23 July 2013


Who would have thought that such a large baby would have emerged from such a slender little woman. Eight pounds six ounces! Crikey! That’s pretty big for a first baby, and isn’t it a little strange that he was measured in pounds and ounces? Doesn’t that defy EU weights and measures legislations?

It’s an odd phenomenon watching the growth of this dynasty. It’s an odd phenomenon having a monarchy in the twenty-first century. I was first aware of all this around the time of the Prince of Wales’s investiture. Before that there was no one. Essentially, the monarchy rested on The Queen’s head. I think there was a huge sigh of relief when Prince Charles reached his majority and everyone could relax about an adult heir.

How times have changed.

Since the birth of William in 1982, and certainly since the Queen reached retirement age in  1986, the talk has been of the accession. When would Charles be King? Would the Queen abdicate, and, if so, when? That was the better part of thirty years ago, and the Prince of Wales turns sixty-five next year. Will he take the throne post retirement age? Will he hand over to Prince William and continue in his Welsh title? Would that be a popular move with the masses? Does the nation want Camilla anywhere near the throne?

If the Queen should die while the Cambridges are still raising a young family would Kate want the added responsibility of being a full-time mother and consort?

Need history repeat itself? The Queen’s two oldest children were three and eighteen months old when she ascended to the throne and she had two more children during the first dozen years of her reign. Would she advise that any one else take on that sort of life if they didn’t have to? And in the modern age? I very much doubt it.

Diana, Princess of Wales
The Ultimate Celebrity
Victim and late grandmother
Monarchy, it seems to me, is the ultimate celebrity, and since the British monarchy happens to have the longest pedigree it is probably the most celebrated of them all. Look what celebrity has become, though. Look at the damage it does, the havoc it causes, the misery that follows it around. We don't have to look very far into the monarchy's own past to see the pain that celebrity has caused in the Windsor family. Princess Margaret suffered in the newspapers, and Princes Charles and Andrew have both been targets in the past, not to mention Sarah Ferguson, and, of course, many blame Diana, Princess of Wales's death directly on the news media.

The World’s media was concentrated on the birth of a single child yesterday, simply because it thinks it knows that child’s fate, and perhaps it does, but what has Prince Charles or Prince William or the Duchess of Cambridge ever done that was remotely noteworthy? And what do we expect from this child, except to look good in a suit when it’s papped, to head up a charity or two, and to take part in a few minor scandals before, eventually, sitting on the oldest throne in the first World?

We can’t guess what some of the other children born yesterday might turn out to be, but I hope that one or two of them might become the great thinkers, movers and shakers of their generation. I hope that they might become the great statesmen, leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, inventors and artists of the next century, and I hope they earn their places in history.

Birthright and heredity are funny things, but this child is not the only child who is born with them, although his might be written all over him. Every child has a birthright, every child inherits his wit and his imagination, his sense of humour and his intelligence. With the right stimulus, with good parenting and wise and sensitive teachers every child can meet his potential and capitalise on his natural birthright, and I hope that all children born yesterday, and every day have the opportunity to do exactly that.

1 comment:

  1. Prince Charles has used his position to campaign on organic food and aesthetics in architecture; potentially the others have done the same in areas that did not leap to my mind.