If America Had Kings and Queens, Would We Really Care?

Over the past couple of days, all forms of media have dedicated countless man hours and resources covering the birth of Kate and William’s first, yet to be named child – The Prince of Cambridge.  I’ve been amazed at the level of attention that this event has received from our American media (although I’m not surprised).

Huffington Post has provided real time updates – noting that today at 9:47 AM (US EST), two pizzas were delivered to the service entrance of St. Mary’s Hospital.  They also noted that after giving birth to a child she deserves to eat anything she wants.  The media also reported that Kate’s parents arrived at the hospital at 10:15 to visit the newborn prince, and Carole was wearing the £335 Orla Kiely ‘Dancing Girls’ tea dress in pebble — a lovely choice to visit her grandson.  I guess that’s some important stuff.

I also learned that a hairdresser was dispatched to the hospital prior to the first appearance by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their newborn son.  Finally at 2:12 PM, Kate and William exit St. Mary’s Hospital.  We found out almost immediately that Kate wore a baby blue bespoke polka-dotted Jenny Packham (her favorite!) dress and looked gorgeous.  I’m running to the store right now to get Carrie one of these dresses.

As I have been forced to follow the coverage of the royal birth (mainly because it’s the first thing that pops-up on the AOL home screen), I’ve asked myself how America would really feel about this event if we had our own royal family?  Many Americans have followed the birth of this child as if it’s the most important thing going on in their lives.  The question I ask is: Why?  Why are we drawn to events like these?  Why are we so drawn to celebrities and the lives they lead?  How would we treat events like these if America had its own royal family?  I think I discovered the answer to my question last night.

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a business dinner with two gentlemen from the United Kingdom – one from England and one from Scotland.  Over the course of the evening, the subject of the royal birth came-up in conversation – of course.  And it was quite apparent that their level of interest in the royal birth and in the royal family was limited at best.  When it came up, they didn’t even know that the child had been born at 4:24 BST (again from Huffington Post).  Our host knew the details, but our guests really didn’t seem to care.  She seemed puzzled by the situation as she assumed because they were from the UK, they would be drawn to the event like many of us here in America.  In this case, they were not.

And I think I understand why.  The royal family has been part of their everyday lives since they were born.  This is normal stuff.  This is part of their culture.  These guys were around for the birth of Prince William and Harry.  They have lived through multiple royal weddings and divorces and multiple scandals.  Since we Americans don’t have our own royal family, we have chosen to live vicariously through the royals of England.  We are drawn to the pomp and circumstance of the royals.  The traditions, customs and rituals.  The mystery of the life of the Queen and her family.  We, as Americans, are enamored by it.  We have parties to celebrate the weddings, the birth of royal children, the royal polo matches, etc.  Following their lives is an escape from reality.  For many, it’s just entertainment.

Part of me finds a great deal of humor here.  Part of me is saddened by it because there are more important things going on in the world.  Part of me understands the need to escape from reality – to follow the lives of others.  It feeds our dreams.  What child doesn’t want to be a movie star or a princess or a famous singer?  Who doesn’t want to live in a royal castle?  My middle daughter is totally drawn to Taylor Swift.  My oldest daughter loves to watch and listen to Selena Gomez.  Fortunately, neither of my girls like Justin Bieber (thank goodness).

So for those of you that have followed this event from the beginning, I hope they name the baby boy soon so we can all move on with our lives and see other headlines on the AOL home screen.  You would think they would have come up with a short list of names over the past nine months.  I’m thinking George or James.  Those are two royal sounding names.

We should know something soon.  I can’t wait.



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