My position is very much closer to the former. I am a staunch supporter of our Royal Family, but I just watch from afar—smelling particularly pleasant in the process.
I was thrilled at Monday’s news of the safe arrival of a baby son for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It is my firm belief that the relevance and future of our Monarchy lies in the hands of William and Kate; they are already outstanding ambassadors for our country, capable of engaging with people from any generation and background. I suppose William and the equally admirable Harry were born into this way of life, and having Diana, Princess of Wales as a mother was always likely to give them an ability to display genuine empathy, but although Kate’s own background was relatively privileged, she has still adapted superbly—outwardly at least—to her new role.
It’s unfair to offer subjective comparison with William and Harry’s late mother, because the Duchess is very much her own person, but I really think that this endearing young woman will make every bit as significant a contribution as Diana and with the next generation of the monarchy assured with the newborn third in line to the throne, I actually feel a sense of comfort, along with happiness at the news.
The only real downside has been the television coverage. Of course a Royal birth is a big story, especially given this particular baby’s destiny, but Monday’s hour-long “specials” on both BBC and ITV were at best unnecessary. There are only so many times you can show the front of a hospital and tell viewers that the presumably proud parents are somewhere inside, or head off for numerous visits to The Old Boot Inn in Kate’s home village of Bucklebury where apparently the champagne was flowing freely—well if it was, it was being drunk from pint glasses.
That said, I watched the programme anyway, but my “switch off” moment did arrive—yesterday morning, in fact—when Kate’s old piano teacher was interviewed and given the chance to perform a song he’d written to commemorate the birth. There is a line you should never cross... and that was it.
For the record, Kate had passed her Grade 3 piano exam, and her Grade 5 theory—which presumably means she failed the practical. Back in the mid-1970s, I passed my Grade 3 trumpet exam—actually I got a “merit”—and although it’s been a while, I have composed a little tune...
On four... one, two, three, f...