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A second #RoyalBaby will soon be joining the Windsors in England. Given the choice, would you rather be heir to the throne, or the (probably) off-the-hook sibling?

Being a king or queen isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. I’ve seen the Crown Jewels, and they don’t even tempt me. The travel would be nice — on a private plane, my own train, or even the Royal Yacht. The crowds watching my every move for possible news, would be quite a strain. And imagine wearing all those dressy clothes and proper hats all the time, with pantyhose and chic shoes. What a drag. If you’re the king, you can’t take off your suit jacket if you’re sweating in the heat of India.  You can’t say, “Yuck, what’s that smell?” if you pass an open sewer.

Being in line for all of that wouldn’t appeal to me, but then I’m not a royal. I imagine there’s a sense of monarchy and duty to carry on the line of authority that I am unable to appreciate. Even though kings and queens don’t have the authority they once did, they still are the embodiment of their countries, and a symbol of continuity of power. I can’t imagine England without all the Royalty, the pomp and circumstance, and the long history they embody.

Still, a life so proscribed by tradition, so bound by continual duty, would make being “normal” really difficult. The public’s curiosity and demand for any news item,  ceremonial or private, would make life like living in a fish bowl. When Princess Diana took her boys out to do ordinary childhood things, it was a big news flash. How many little kids get followed by photographers when they ride a roller coaster, or play in a water park? Perhaps because of how hounded and ultimately endangered Diana was by the paparazzi, things will be easier on the young royal family now — who knows?

One wonders how Princes William and Harry were affected by one being the heir and the other the “spare”. Was it just a difference in temperament that made Harry the “wild child”, or was it the fact that he didn’t have the impending burden of being King weighing on him? Or was it a reaction to being the the younger (a kind of jealousy or unkind twist of fate) that made him want to act out and live on the edge as he does.

So, I’m happy for Kate and William, who just happened to graduate from my alma mater, and perhaps even happier for their baby.

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