Being the royal family is accomplishment enough

The News TribuneJuly 30, 2013 

Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, pose with the Prince of Cambridge July 23.

KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH — AP

Dear (and I use the term “Dear” only as a matter of formality) Editor:

We read with great displeasure the pernicious attack upon our esteemed royal family published by your otherwise fine publication.

We were not amused. ...

OK.

The Queen has not written a letter like this in response to last week’s News Tribune editorial. That screed (“Two cheers for William, Kate and the royal bundle” TNT 7-25) attempted to dump a big bucket of cold water over the feverish joy that burst forth round the world with the birth of HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

Responding to bad press is soooo not Her Majesty’s cup of tea.

So I’ll do it for her.

Isn’t it just like a Yank to focus on what the royals have or have not achieved? (“Basically zilch,” according to last week’s editorial.)

What royal bashers fail to understand is that, when it comes to nobility, achievement is beside the point.

All this striving, struggling, up-by-your-bootstraps business is about us — Americans — not them.

Those of us who follow Britain’s royal family adore them not because of what they’ve accomplished — but because of what they represent.

For starters, the Windsor clan stands for staying power.

The family and its constitutional monarchy have survived wars, revolutions, infidelity, scandal, divorce, abdication, speech impediments — even a name change.

Until World War I, the current crop of royals were known by their German name: Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. They’d come by it honestly, through Queen Victoria’s husband, her beloved Prince Albert, who was German by birth.

But with anti-German sentiment rising during the first World War, King George V — Queen Victoria’s grandson — knew he had to cut his losses.

So he issued a royal proclamation, changing the family name and the name of the royal house to Windsor, after one of his castles.

You can do that kind of stuff when you’re a king, and you’ve got castles to spare.

The editorial’s assertion is that handsome Prince William, HRH George’s daddy, is just an ordinary stiff born under a lucky star and that, without his blueblood parents, “no one on this side of the pond would have heard of him.”

Well, without the curse of reality TV, no one would have heard of the Kardashians, either. Fame works in mysterious ways. You just have to learn to accept that, especially in this age of instant electronic communications.

William has, since birth, lived under the glare of the media spotlight. That spotlight helped hound his mother, Princess Diana, to her death. And early on, it threatened his college romance with Kate Middleton. Both William and Kate have fought back, filing successful lawsuits against intrusive paparazzi and blazing a trail for others on the global stage to follow.

Fortunately for those of us who still believe in romance, the couple were able to work things out.

After an epic, televised wedding in historic Westminster Abbey in 2011, they became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Like William’s famous parents and other members of the royal family, they have shouldered their share of public appearances and charity work. The beautiful Duchess has been credited with reviving the British fashion industry.

And now, they’ve given the world a precious little prince, George, who’s destined to carry on the business of the family firm.

It’s a business that’s like no other on Earth, connecting the sometimes checkered, sometimes glorious past with hope and faith in the future. It’s a big job to hand to such a tiny boy.

But I’ll tune in to his unfolding story over reality TV any day of the week.

Debbie Cafazzo is a staff writer at The News Tribune.

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