I’ve never been obsessed with the Royal Family. Interested. But not obsessed.
In fact, my most telling memory is right before my sophomore year in high school. Of course, as a high-schooler on summer break, the thing to do is stay up all night, right? And on the 31st of August, 1997 I stayed up. In the middle of the night, I woke up my mother to tell her that the news broke in (to whatever trashy talk show was on at the time) to notify the world that Princess Diana had been in a car crash. My Mom and I sat on the bed, watching the news until the broadcast told us she had died of her injuries. My Mom let out an audible gasp and covered her mouth.
It was then that I realized what the Royal Family means to many people in the World. They are an ideal to strive towards. They accomplish good that many of us cannot, simply because they are famous. We are interested in their trials, tribulations and joys… because they experience all of it, just like you and I.
So when one of them gets married or divorced, or one is born or one dies, or one celebrates 60 years on the throne, the World takes notice.
I’ve been in many discussions with Brits on the myriad cruise vacations I’ve taken. Every single time, they tell me that Americans are more interested in the Royal Family than they are. I’ll bet that’s not true. All of those people gathered for William and Kate’s wedding? You telling me they were all Americans? But I do believe that the public fascination is equal on both sides of the pond.
To me, it seems that recently there has been a dramatic increase in Royal Family interest. Sure, we’ve had the Royal Wedding, the Diamond Jubilee, the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation… and now the Royal Baby. But I think we can point to one woman as the source of this newfound interest. And you know exactly who I’m speaking of.
I mean, just look at her. That smile. The wavy hair. The very intellectual sparkle in her eyes. How can you not just love Kate Middleton?
Moreover, she brings a modern twist to the Royal Family. Sure, Prince Harry’s nude escapades help to liven things up. But Prince William seems just about as exciting as his father. Which is to say, just about as exciting as… well… folding laundry.
Kate’s fashion, her glimmer, the interactions with the press and the public. This is all adding up for her to be a very effective cause for good in the World. Just like a sorely-missed Princess.
But for all of her modernity, Kate is very adept at embracing tradition, too. Just this week, it was announced that the Royal Baby will be introduced to the World like Royal Babies before it: via a framed note, displayed behind the gates of Buckingham Palace. Forget Twitter or Facebook. The World will find out the old-fashioned way first, with modern means quickly following.
And the place of birth? The same hospital where Prince William and Prince Harry were both born. Tradition, indeed.
The thing is, as much as we all love progress and new-fangled technology, there is something nice and sweet about tradition. And doing things the way they’ve always been done, simply for that fact. This is why the World holds a special interest and place in our imaginations for the Royal Family.
To close, here is a special image from my book, First Photo of The Royal Baby, available now on Amazon.
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