Confession: I was hoping the royal baby would be a girl.
Because of a recent change in heir-to-the-throne British law, one day in the not too distant future, England might have been ruled by Queen Diana, or someone with an equally girly name, even if she had younger brothers.
Which would have been totally cool. Almost as cool as being the first female President of the United States.
But, like electing Hillary Clinton in 2008, it was not to be. Not yet, anyway. Instead, William and Kate have produced a firstborn to be here forth known as Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. It’s a name I really, really like because my own George–who as far as we know is not related to British royalty—also has the middle name Louis. Except he pronounces it lew-iss, not lew-ee. On the rare occasions when he admits it’s his middle name.
What’s got me buffaloed by little Lew-ee’s arrival is not the millions of people around the globe who celebrate it. It’s the ones who are being so darn tacky about it.
I’m not talking about late night comedians, whose jokes have—for the most part—been hilarious. Back in December, David Letterman came out with his list of ten least likely names for a male royal heir. Number Ten was “Kim Jong Windsor.” At the top of the list was “Mitt.” Now that’s funny. Jimmy Fallon joked that when Americans learned the baby was eight pounds, they wanted to know how much that was in dollars. And Jay Leno wondered what was up with all the fuss. “You’d think it was Kim Kardashian and Kanye West having a kid,” he quipped.
On Facebook, things aren’t quite so funny. At least with some of the folks who are my “friends” or “friends” of my “friends.” (I should have “unfriended” a whole big bunch of them months ago.) A few examples of prince-bashing: “Who gives a flip what name the lazy royals gave their lazy kid?” one person wrote. “Why is this baby any more important than the millions of other babies born that day?” another asked. The most intriguing post: “More than two hundred years ago, we fought a war against the British so things like this wouldn’t matter.”
In all the years I taught U.S. History, the birth of a baby—whatever its nationality–was never on the list of reasons that helped explain why the American colonies fought for independence from England. But maybe I wasn’t as well-informed as I thought.
The more I considered these Facebook diatribes, the more I began to wonder why anyone would feel compelled to post something hateful about the new little British prince. I could come up with only one answer. Some people just enjoy being negative. They like to stir the pot so that it will continue to stink. Because 2013 is not–thank goodness–an election year, they have to find something ridiculous to rant and rave about until politics once again totally consumes their thoughts.
To them I say Bah-humbug, even though it’s not Christmas.
To William and Kate, congratulations and best wishes. I know from recent first-hand experience how wonderful it is to have a brand new baby to love. May your precious little George Alexander Louis live long and prosper. And may he become a wise and good king, even though everyone knows that modern British kings and queens are just figureheads. But I would offer just one small piece of advice.
Perhaps you should consider pronouncing his name lew-iss instead of lew-ee.
(August 4, 2013)