Queen and Kate at Royal Garden Party

Crowds are already gathering outside of the London hospital where the former Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, is expected to deliver her baby in the next few days.  The due date is tomorrow, Saturday, July 13th. The baby will be third in line to the throne and is expected to lead the Commonwealth realms into the 22nd century.  For the first time, the sex of the child will not matter. The announcement will not be made outside the hospital.  By tradition, a courier will first take the news to the Queen.  It will then be shared with the Governors General of the Commonwealth Realms, nations over which the baby will one day be monarch.  The prime ministers will also be told.  Only then can it be announced to the public on a notice board in the courtyard in front of Buckingham Palace.  At that point, the world will learn the sex of the baby. As it’s unlikely the Queen will be awakened in the middle of the night to be given the news, the world may have to wait a few hours. It’s been over a century since there were four generations of monarchs alive at the same time.  A photograph remains of Queen Victoria (died January 1901) with the future King Edward VII (her son), George V (grandson) and Edward VIII (great grandson). We can expect the current monarch to be similarly photographed with Prince Charles (son), Prince William (grandson) and the new baby (great grandchild), all of whom will, in turn, be future monarchs, barring some unforeseen calamity. The throne is secure.  The birth of the new baby precedes by only one year the tercentenary of the dynasty, established by George I in 1714.  The royal household took the name Windsor in 1917.  The royal house should be given much of the credit for giving Great Britain and the other realms the longest period of political stability in modern history.

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