Typical, isn’t it. After decades of feminist activity to get the law changed, they finally succeed and parliament passes an act ensuring that if the first born is female, she’ll become queen. And then Kate goes and gives birth to a boy anyway. Oh, the angst. All those years of toil, debate, argument, counter argument, legislation and celebration. For nothing. Well, this time anyway….
But congrats to Wills and Kate all the same. It’s been a whirlwind couple of years, especially for Kate. One moment she’s an awkward teenager, the next she’s marrying into the world’s most famous family, and now she has her pension absolutely nailed on. She crept into hospital through the back door early this morning with William, and before you know it, jackpot!! Actually I’m being too flippant. I dare say Kate spent much of the day wishing Wills had crept in the back door about nine months ago.
But what about the baby boy? He needs a name. I’m sure the Royals will all have a say. I suspect Harry’s proposal of Adolf has been rejected and he’s been sent home to sober up. Philips’ suggestion no doubt consisted of far too many vowels, too few consonants and may have simply been ‘old man noises’ he makes when sitting up. Mohammed Al Fayed has no doubt been told that Dodi isn’t on the cards, not least because he doesn’t even have a British passport, let alone membership of The Family.
The bookies are offering odds on all sorts of goofy names. Fifteen top candidates. Henry, Philip, Edward, Charles or William perhaps? But they’re all taken, so surely not. They’re strictly for middle names. Albert and Alfred are historically very royal names, but they do also rather conjure up images of a rather dim witted northerner in a flat cap who’s regularly beaten by his wife. Louis? Too French. Almost as bad as Harry’s suggestion. Perhaps worse.
Thomas is in the top ten. I like it. But you have to think ahead. He’ll be King of Australia one day. Tom the Pom? No, no, no. Won’t do. Richard has a similar problem. In days gone by, the short version of Richard was ok. But no one wants to be a Dick in the 21st Century. James? James become Jim. Jimmy. Jimbob. Far too common. And whilst I have already ruled Philip out as it’s currently in use, there is always the chance it could yet become vacant by the time they get around to naming it. Given modern kids habit of experimentation (thinking of you again, Harry), then Phil the Pill is too easy a tabloid headline. That’s just doing their work for them.
George, perhaps. Except I’ve read that Charles may take the name George when he assumes the throne. But maybe he’ll keep Charles. Although if he’s superstitious then maybe he’ll leave Charles well alone. Historically, half of them have had their heads cut off. Besides, there have been so many Georges already. And most of them were bloody Germans. What next? Dump Windsor and go back to Saxe Coburg?? Forgive, not forget, and all that.
So there are just four serious options left in the top fifteen most likely names according to British bookmakers. Alexander and Arthur are both good. And we’ve never had a King Alexander or a King Arthur. Not a real one. And both beat the final option of King David. Far too Jewish. Which is not as bad as either Adolf or Louis, but still too unEnglish. I’m going to plump for Alexander as my preferred choice. Although I suspect a King Jim could be on the cards.
And there’s always the chance an outsider could come galloping in. The Royals aren’t silly. They know this is a business world. They have international appeal, so why not milk it. Elvis? You know that King Elvis would go down a bomb across the Atlantic. Heck, those thirteen rogue colonies would come rushing back into the fold in next to no time. Or how about Nelson or Wellington? Just to wind up the French.
So, Prince Alexander it is. I declare it so. King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, King of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Sudan…..hold on. I was reading off the list of countries the current queen was supposed to ‘own’. Things change. Look at that map above. The British Empire around the time of Queen Elizabeth II’s birth. And all she ended up with was some squabbling Eskimos -some of whom have the temerity to speak French! – living north of the US, a penal colony in Australia and the Falkland Islands. And Hong Kong, but the less said about that, the better. King Alexander might not even have Scotland to reign over by the time he gets the top job.
King Alexander won’t have an Empire to call his own. Just the remnants of a long lost imperial history that’s not even called the British Commonwealth any more. It’s just the Commonwealth. Which is more akin to an exclusive gentlemen’s smoking club than an empire. He is perhaps the first heir to the British throne born after the empire finally fell. If, like me, you take the hand over of Hong Kong to be the final nail in the coffin. It works nicely with dates – 1497 to 1997. Five hundred years of empire. Which is five hundred years too long for those opposed to colonialism. But about fifteen years too short for poor Alexander.
Poor chap. I hope they find him something to do. I’m not sure he really matters. And yet. There are an awful lot of reporters from every corner of the globe who have been camped outside a fairly dull looking hospital these last few days. It’s just a mystery to me…