Congratulations to Prince William and Duchess Catherine on the arrival of their new son and heir.
British royalty has been a tradition and a mainstay for centuries, and even now, when the Queen is little more than a figurehead, it is one of the last remnants of a privileged society. The last several decades have had a major impact on the royal family - a positive impact, I believe. There comes a time when tradition has to bow to the times. Always a difficult transition. As a romance author and a reader of historical novels, it is easy to imagine the struggles of the royals even when we have no clue about what really happens behind closed doors.
Prince Charles has led a colorful life. Looking back at the years before he married Diana Spencer, he didn't seem very interested in settling down to live the life of a king. Can't you just imagine HRH Queen Elizabeth wagging her finger at him and threatening him that he'd never be king until he got his act together and did what was expected of him? And so a bride was selected for him. Just like in a romance novel. An arranged marriage, or so it would seem.
I will tell you that I have no idea about the inner workings of the royal family, so my waxing poetic today has no basis in actual fact. I do know that the world fell in love with Lady Diana, and she produced two fine heirs to the throne. That Charles and Diana changed the course of royal history goes without saying. One thinks back to Edward and Wallis Simpson and the scandal of that era, and the changes the world has gone through to where it was now acceptable for the heir to the throne of England to divorce his wife and not lose his line of succession (although that has yet to be determined).
Speculation is that William will step over his father as Charles advances in years and the Queen appears to want to live forever. William has set other precedents. First, he married a "commoner." The pool of "acceptable royalty" has dwindled considerably. The royal family has become more accessible, and now the world watches to ensure the success of the young royals. And then, of course, there is the change in the rules of royal succession (which have been rendered unnecessary in this generation). It is now acceptable for a firstborn daughter to take the throne as queen rather than a secondborn son to ascend before her.
I heard on the radio this morning that if William lived to be 80, his son wouldn't take the throne until 2062 (or some such far distant year). One wonders about the world changes that might alter the course of future events. Will the royalty continue as a British tradition? Or will they be rendered an unnecessary government expense?
In the meantime, a whole new generation of young girls can sing along with "Some Day My Prince Will Come," and actually cling to the possibility that they have a chance with the new Royal. After all, if his father could marry someone outside of his class, it stands to reason the young Prince will follow suit.
It's the stuff romance novels are made of - new doors to open, new possibilities, new dreams, and the hope of happily ever after.