Rather, about my hometown of Grimsby, which was at one time the world’s greatest fishing port. That’s based on the fact that a greater tonnage of fish was landed there than anywhere else in the world.
In fact, now, no fish is landed in Grimsby.
The EU happened.
The Common Fisheries Policy enabled the then 9 member EU (now 28) to fish in British territorial waters. Many of those countries are low wage countries. They simply took the business from the British. Ports along the east coast suffered greatly. Is there any wonder they voted to “Leave” the EU?
Many factories closed as they moved their operations to the continent. Cadbury’s is, perhaps, the most famous one. The British chocolate factory moved some years ago to Poland.
At the same time, Britain lost a great deal of its international trade.
Prior to the EU (or EEC as it was called back then (the European Economic Community), Britain’s trade was directed more internationally. “Imperial preferences” gave access to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Other former colonies lost access to Britain, but later signed the Lome Convention, which gave them lower tariffs when trading with the EU.
It’s doubtful any of these countries will want to go back to Britain when they have access to over 500 million in the European single market.
When Britain applied to join the EEC (originally only six members), other countries did so much trade with Britain; they also applied to join. Denmark and Ireland joined at the same time, January 1st, 1973. When (if) Britain leaves, these two will remain in the EU. This will complicate relations between Ireland and England, as they share a common border. Ireland, which formerly used the British currency, now uses the Euro.
The driving force behind Britain’s application to join the EU was British business. Whereas some businesses lost out, others stood to gain from easier access to the single market. Those companies today are vigorously fighting to “Remain” in the EU. Today (March 29th) was the day Britain was to leave, but the government is still trying to get a “Deal” with the EU, giving them easier access to Europe.
It’s not all one sided, though you would think so from the press. The British have been warned about shortages, long lines of trucks transporting goods to and from Europe, and long lines at airports as they will have to show their passports like everybody else.
The EU will suffer, too, without Britain. The long lines will be just as long at Calais as they will be at Dover, shortages work both ways and airport delays will affect Europeans as much as the British. Additionally, the Europeans will have some serious financial problems, as Britain has been a net contributor to the EU, to the tune of 350 million pounds per week (that’s $462 million). The Germans will feel Britain’s loss more than the others – 20% of German car sales are to the UK. They are also net contributors and will have to come up with more money.
There’s absolutely no reason why Britain has to get a deal with the Europeans now. They should end the uncertainty and just get out, now.
One thing in their favor is that the US, which encouraged Britain to join, is now encouraging the UK to leave. A trade agreement with the US would go at least some of the way to replace the EU.
Facebook has banned white nationalist websites.
“Until yesterday, white nationalism was not banned on Facebook. The social network made a distinction between white nationalism and white supremacy, banning the latter and allowing the former. It said nationalism, which advocates for a separation between races, was allowed, while supremacy, which argues that white people are superior to people from other races, was not.” (Daily Telegraph, 3/29)
Now that’s changed. They are both banned.
All this will do is drive white nationalism underground, making it more dangerous.
The solution to white nationalism is to do something about immigration!
The situation on the US-Mexico border is a grave crisis, with more and more families (big families) arriving each day, This is overwhelming for US authorities and will overwhelm schools and health services if everybody is allowed in.
This is going to happen more and more as the high birthrate countries send millions to low birthrate western countries.
One solution is for people in the West to have more children.
Churches should encourage people to “go forth and multiply” (Gen 9:7), thereby addressing the imbalance, and providing the West with the people it needs for expanding economies. They would not then be encouraging so many people to come here.
I’m going to finish here, as I have a serious computer problem. The second vowel in the alphabet is not printing, making it next to impossible to write anything. I have to go back over what I’ve written and fix it, taking a long time to make a correction.
A visit to the Apple Store should fix it, or I will be looking to buy a new computer
I spent a couple of evenings this week watching “The War That Made America,” a 4-hour PBS special made in 2006, to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War. The intro added the words: “And it’s not the war you think.”
It is, arguably, the most significant war in American history. If it had ended differently, we might have been French and Catholic. Instead, we speak English and have freedom of religion.
Prior to 1754 the British had control of the eastern seaboard. The French were in control of the “Ohio country.” From Canada to Louisiana, they had a series of forts that controlled the center of what is now the US. These forts stopped Americans from moving westward. They were trying to strengthen these forts when conflict arose between Britain and France.
George Washington fired the first shot, as a member of the colonial Virginia Regiment, a provincial militia. It was the first shot in what was really the first world war, a war that saw fighting in India, the Philippines, Africa and Europe as well as North America. Outside of the US, the war is known as the Seven Years War.
After more than seven years of brutal fighting, the French were driven out of North America. The threat from the Roman Catholic Church, which did not tolerate freedom of religion, was over. The French king no longer ruled over North America, replaced by an English king who was a constitutional monarch.
When told the news that he had lost Canada, Louis XV was talking to Voltaire, the famous French philosopher. In an attempt to console him, Voltaire asked what the French had actually lost. It was, he said, just “a few acres of snow.”
Fast forward fifteen years, to 1775. This was the year that saw the beginning of major changes that lay the groundwork for the world we now live in.
From Wikipedia: “In the Hebrew Bible, forty is often used for time periods, forty days or forty years, which separate “two distinct epochs.” Several Jewish leaders and kings are said to have ruled for “forty years,” that is, a generation.”
1775 was truly the end of one epoch. 1815 was the beginning of another.
MANASSEH SEPARATED FROM EPHRAIM
The forty-year period began with the separation from the “multitude of nations,” of a ”great people,” Manasseh. The multitude remained united under the Crown.
“Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said: “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day, The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”
“Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”
“So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ” And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.” (Genesis 48:14-20)
2. CANADA ALSO BECAME A NATION.
One of the consequences of the US victory at Yorktown was the expansion of Canada and of it becoming its very own nation. The British had control of the 14th colony, Quebec (Lower Canada), which refused to join the “Protestant Republic” forming to the south. Britain had conquered Quebec in 1759, guaranteeing the French their Roman Catholicism. Many of America’s Tories fled to Ontario, then Upper Canada, and, with Lower Canada, formed a new nation of Canada. Later, in 1867, they would be given independence under the Crown, forming the Dominion of Canada, the first nation of the British Commonwealth.
3. FRANCE LOSES ITS SUPREMACY TO ENGLAND
The first blow against French domination was struck in 1759 when the British gained Montreal and Quebec. But it was the 22-year period of on-again, off again, military conflict with France that led to a century of British domination. The Napoleonic Wars weakened France and strengthened England. The defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, on 18th June, 1815, saw the end of France as a great military power.
4. The LOUISIANA PURCHASE of 1803, financed by a British bank, gave America the Ohio country and enabled it to expand westward.
5. NAVAL SUPREMACY
The Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805, one of the greatest British victories of all time, gave Britain naval supremacy. For over a century, the Royal Navy ruled the seas, protected British territories and the US and ensured the peace.
ABOLISHMENT OF THE SLAVE TRADE
The trade in slaves ended for the British Empire in 1807. The US followed a year later. It wasn’t until 1833 that the British ended slavery throughout their empire. For the US it was thirty years later during the Civil War. But the end of the slave trade boosted the growth of the British Empire, which was seen throughout Africa as a Liberator. The West Africa Squadron of the British Royal Navy patrolled the Gulf of Guinea, and was authorized to stop any naval vessel (of whatever country) and free their slaves. In the fifty years of the Squadron it is estimated that 150,000 slaves were freed.
During the Revolutionary War, the British were supported by most of the slaves in the thirteen colonies, slaves who were promised their freedom at the end of the war. With defeat, they took those slaves on board ships, many of which went to found a new nation, Sierra Leone, in West Africa.
Three new countries emerged in the 40-year period we are looking at – the United States, Canada and Sierra Leone.
WAR OF 1812
This war showed that the US was a serious nation. Canada was, too. The two fought and established their separate identities. Canadians made it clear they wanted to stay under the Crown.
THE COST OF ARROGANCE
The PBS documentary showed quite clearly the role of the Indians in the struggle for North America. The French started the war with great advantage – most of the Indian tribes were on their side. But their arrogance toward the Indians caused that to change.
At the same time, British arrogance toward George Washington cost them the American colonies twenty years later. They refused to allow Washington advancement in the ranks because he was a “provincial.” He quit the military in 1758, returning in 1775 to lead the Patriots” against the British.
The DVD is well worth four hours. You could also read the book “A Few Acres of Snow” by Robert Leckie, “the saga of the French and Indian Wars.” Published in 2006.
MAY VISITS GRIMSBY
Mrs. Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK, visited my hometown of Grimsby this morning. She was there to make a pitch for her latest Brexit proposals, to be voted on in parliament on Tuesday. Grimsby is one of the towns that most supported Brexit. She made it clear that, if her proposals are rejected, the UK might have to remain in the EU.
Even if her proposals receive the support of parliament (a big IF), there is no guarantee that the EU will go along with them.
The people voted to leave the European Union. Now they are being told it’s not as simple as that. Why not let the people have what they voted for? That will never do!
One of my earliest memories is of a trip with a friend and his father to the shore of the River Humber in England. It was twilight and, along with thousands of other people, we tried to position ourselves comfortably on the rocks so that we could watch the famous yacht go by.
The yacht was the Royal Yacht Britannia. On board were the Queen and Prince Philip who were returning from a royal tour. Those tours were frequent back then – often to faraway places like Australia and New Zealand or one of the islands in the South Pacific. I don’t remember where they were returning from on this evening, or why they were sailing up the River Humber. I remember having a brief look through binoculars, but the yacht was just too far away.
There’s been hundreds of royal tours since then. The latest in the news is actually the first tour of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, formerly known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, before their marriage five months ago. They are now on an 18-day tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, during which they have 76 engagements.
The tour comes at an interesting time. In five months time, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. Almost fifty years ago, the country turned its back on the Commonwealth of former British territories; now, it hopes to revive the commercial and other ties it once had with these nations.
At the same time as the British are focused on Brexit, Australians are preparing for a plebiscite on the future of the monarchy in their country. With an election next year, the Labor (socialist) party is planning an immediate vote on whether to turn the country into a republic, not a republic American style but one where the titular head of state will no longer be a monarch who lives 10,000 miles away, but an Australian figurehead likely chosen by parliament. The American model is not likely to be adopted as it’s too expensive and politicians don’t like it as it’s too weak. One member of the Australian parliament warned against adopting the US system lest they, too, have a President Trump!
Even republicans admit the change will lead to some confusion and political instability as 63 laws have to be changed, if the people vote for a republic. Any change will also be more expensive.
Immediately prior to the arrival of the prince and duchess, the new Australian prime minister, Liberal (in Australia, that’s conservative) Scott Morrison, declared he is a monarchist and had the monarch’s portrait returned to the PM’s official office. His expressed view is that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Australia’s founders chose to remain loyal to the Crown after achieving independence at the turn of the twentieth century.
Australia’s constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system has been the envy of the world. It has attracted immigrants from all over the world, mostly, in recent decades, from failed states that happen to be republics; it’s likely that most of these immigrants, not knowing the past, will vote for a republic, setting Australia on the path to yet another dysfunctional state run by politicians for politicians.
Before casting their vote, they would do well to watch the Australian documentary, “When the Queen came to town,” a record of the monarch’s first royal tour of Australia in 1954, with many interviews of those who remember the tour, in which 75% of Australians saw the monarch at least once. She was the first reigning monarch to set foot in the country. It was a highly successful visit.
After the queen returned to England, Robert Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia, wrote an article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, in which he wrote:
“It is a basic truth that for our Queen we have within us, sometimes unrealized until the moment of expression, the most profound and passionate feelings of loyalty and devotion. It does not require much imagination to realize that when eight million people spontaneously pour out this feeling they are engaging in a great act of common allegiance and common joy which brings them closer together and is one of the most powerful elements converting them from a mass of individuals to a great cohesive nation. In brief, the common devotion to the Throne is a part of the very cement of the whole social structure.”
WHAT DAMPENED THE ENTHUSIASM?
Britain’s entry into the EU, then the Common Market, on January 1st, 1973, contributed to the republican movement, as many Australians felt betrayed by the mother country, formerly their biggest trading partner. In November of 1975, more people turned against the monarchy when the queen’s representative, the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, dismissed the socialist government of Gough Whitlam for financial improprieties. As this dismissal was “in the name of the Queen,” it boosted republican feeling.
Australians gave the monarchy “the walkabout,” where members of the royal family walk amongst the people. This was named after an aboriginal practice. The term has caught on in the other constitutional monarchies, as well. It’s a great way for the people to meet their sovereign and other members of her family; and for them to show that they care about local issues. Politicians only show up at election time; Harry and Meghan are in Australia for the Invictus games and to promote growing concerns about mental health.
Wikipedia has this to say about the Games, which are now being held in Sydney:
“The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick war veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.”
Even with binoculars, we didn’t get to see the Queen or Prince Philip sixty years ago, but I do remember the crowds and the excitement. One other memory from about the same time was of the Queen’s visit to my hometown of Grimsby, a town on the estuary of the Humber. Again, crowds lined the street. I couldn’t see anything, but a man standing next to me offered to lift me up on his shoulders and my mother consented. From that vantage point, I remember a couple of people across the road fainted and the Red Cross was called to revive them. They were suffering from heat stroke (yes, even in England)!
I remember, too, that my father, a republican (not to be confused with Republicans in the US), complained that he could not drive his car through the center of town, where all the crowds were. Ironically, he got the best view of the monarch as she passed by. It did not lead to his changing his mind on Britain’s constitutional arrangements. Perhaps Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit will help change the minds of those Australians who are tempted to step into the unknown with a questionable and uncertain republic.
Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, together with a number of small islands in the Caribbean and South Pacific, share a cultural heritage. A significant part of that heritage is the monarchy, which has provided each nation with a solid foundation and continuous, peaceful political and economic development. A change in the political system will mean a diversion from that heritage. First, abolish the monarchy, then change the flag, then something else until Australia becomes just another Asian republic – the kind of republic that new Australians have recently fled from!
Note the following from this week’s Spectator:
“Whether it was intended so or not, the decision by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to choose Australia as the place to announce that they are expecting their first child was a public relations triumph. For years the royal family was criticised for having a tin ear when it came to reading and dealing with the public, but no one could say this now. The tone of the younger royals’ tour to the southern hemisphere has been one of approachability, without compromising the dignity of the positions which Harry and Meghan hold.
“Their visit also runs counter to the conventional wisdom of some republicans — in Britain as well as Australia — that support for the monarchy is dependent on personal affection for the Queen and that the institution will be doomed upon her death. Now that Elizabeth II is, for reasons of age, no longer able to conduct long-haul tours, her grandchildren have achieved what her children never quite managed: to show that they have the ability to follow on and capture the support of the public where she leaves off.” (The Spectator, 19th October).
As the prime minister recently said: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
DEATH OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI
The famous Washington Post columnist was brutally tortured and murdered in the Embassy of Saudi Arabia on October 2nd. What happened to him was reprehensible. It‘s not the first time that an Arab government has killed a critic. At the same time, we should also remember that Mr. Khashoggi was no friend of the West. His support of the Muslim Brotherhood and his close friendship with Osama bin Laden both illustrate this.
“Khashoggi was a political Islamist to the end. He did not believe in secularism. He wanted an alliance of Islamic democratic states. There’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily. But it is relevant and worth saying, as it helps explain the dynamic by which he found himself on the wrong side of the Saudi regime.” (Freddie Gray, The Spectator, 19th October)
700, 000 PROTEST OVER BREXIT
A huge demonstration took place in London on Saturday, calling for a second referendum on Brexit. They oppose the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, scheduled for March 29th, five months from now.
Referenda in the EU has often followed this path. A vote is taken on an issue, and when the result is not to the liking of the EU, a second referendum will be called for. Whereas the demand sounds reasonable, it could lead to further division in the United Kingdom, already seriously divided as it is.
Those who want to Remain in the EU have concerns about leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc.
WHAT MULTICULTURALISM HIDES
If we bring in highly qualified immigrants to our workforce, we would be taking away from poorer countries the best they have to offer, and the situation in those countries will further deteriorate. The result will be an even greater flow of unskilled migrants escaping those countries.
The proponents of the new multiculturalism want to share their welfare states with masses of refugees who — through no fault of their own — will be unable to participate in financing themselves for a long time to come.
(Jan Keller, a Czech, writing for Gatestone Institute, 16th October)
RESPONSE ON MULTICULTURALISM
Following a comment to my last blog this morning, here is my response:
Multiculturalism was a term first coined by a Royal Commission in Canada in 1971. It was an attempt to show Canadians a way forward following a significant number of immigrants arriving from Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia, peoples of different cultures from the dominant culture of Canada. The policy was adopted by Canada and then other western nations. It has not worked well and will lead to further problems ahead.
Jesus Christ prophesied that, at the time of the end, “Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:7). The word “nation” comes from the Greek word “ethnos,” from which we get the word “ethnic.” Ethnic conflict will be common at the end time. Indeed, it is already, arguably, the biggest cause of conflict around the world.
While we sing “O God of every nation,” and all nations are descended from Noah’s sons, we should also remember the following words spoken by the Apostle Paul, from Acts 17:26:
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” God set the boundaries; man (mainly western man) is behind mixing, which is the opposite.
We see many problems with multiculturalism. Tolerance is required for it to work, but this is sadly lacking in some groups. Rising conflict in many nations is leading to the rise of populist movements that want to preserve one culture over others. None of this means that any race is superior to another. People simply want to preserve their own cultural heritage. Some cultures are just not compatible. Comments I have made on the threats from immigration are based on this reality — that the mixing is going to lead to negative consequences. It is not meant to imply that any race is superior.
The Apostle Peter said that: “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34)
CARAVAN PUTS IMMIGRATION BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT, IN TIME FOR MIDTERMS
“As 4,000 Honduran migrants push north toward the US, President Trump sees an opportunity to help Republicans hang on to the House in the midterm elections.” (Axios, 20th October).
IN RETROSPECT — OF INTEREST TO THE WCG DIASPORA
“Throughout this study two related concepts have been mentioned repeatedly: authority and government/governance. We have seen Herbert W. Armstrong imposing his authority, diminishing his son’s authority. Having his authority challenged, using his authority to change long-held doctrines, and being accused of authoritarianism. We have seen Joseph W. Tkach and Joe Jr. making use of the strong ethos of obedience to top-down authority in the Worldwide Church of God to revolutionize its teachings, thus precipitating the three major schismatic moves of 1989, 1992-3, and 1995. We have seen various attitudes to authority in the offshoot churches, from the hardline position of Philadelphia, Restored, and others to the more liberal attitudes found in United and its smaller offshoots and in the GTA group of churches.
“As for church government or governance, for some churches in the Worldwide family this is a crucial part of their beliefs; differing attitudes to governance are a major distinguishing factor between the hardline and the more liberal churches.” (“Authority in the Churches of God,” chapter 7 of “The Fragmentation of a Sect,” by David V Barrett, 2013, Oxford University Press.)
Philippians 2:12 – “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
I first saw BBC World in Uganda back in 1993. I remember then expressing the hope that we would soon have it in Michigan. I did not expect it to take 22 years, but we do finally have it, thanks to AT&T. However, I’m not sure it’s worth over $100 per month. This includes a zillion other channels I have no desire to watch. CNN International is also good and comes with the package.
However, thanks to BBC World I’ve been able to keep up on the British election, which takes place on May 7th.
The first live televised debate was between seven leaders of seven political parties, including Prime Minister David Cameron and his coalition partner, Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats. The debate was very interesting.
It was followed by a second debate last week, this time without the prime minister and his coalition ally.
Again, I found it very interesting but, at the same time, quite disturbing.
Each party leader was making promises. The four left-of-center party leaders were all promising more and more, competing with each other on how they would improve this or that service, spending more millions (or was it billions?) on this, that or the other. Only the leader of UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party) seemed to have any sense of the need to balance the nation’s accounts.
The Coalition has been trying to do that since austerity measures were introduced almost five years ago. Their policies stabilized the country while some continental nations were in a rapid downward spiral. Now, the other leaders feel it’s time to ditch austerity and throw a big, no-expense-spared party!
Two members of my family in England sent me a rather long article in the London Review of Books about the election in my hometown of Grimsby, on the east coast of England. Once the world’s premiere fishing port, the town fell on hard times after the country joined the European Common Market (now the EU). It’s revived somewhat, but is still way behind when it comes to economic development. It has been a Labour Party stronghold since 1945. There is a connection! No matter who wins, the next representative for Grimsby will be the first woman, as both leading candidates are women.
The Conservatives never stood a chance of winning the seat for parliament. David Cameron’s posh accent did him in! But a new party may actually take the electoral cup from Labour. That party is UKIP.
Resentment against the EU is so great that working class voters seem just as inclined to vote UKIP as they are to vote Labour.
It’s not just the EU, which is the problem. Immigration is another concern – and the perception that, in an area of 10% unemployment, jobs are being lost to immigrants, both legal and illegal. UKIP is promising to pull Britain out of the EU and to do something about immigration.
Unlike the other left-of-center parties, UKIP does not look upon the English tax-payer as a cash cow, or a bottomless pit, whichever metaphor you prefer. I think you get the picture.
The leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, makes Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, seem positively restrained, in her enthusiasm for spending other peoples’ money. In her case, although she would never use the terms, all the money she is demanding for Scotland and Scottish development would come from the English taxpayer. None of the others participating in the debate commented on this, perhaps because they all (except for UKIP) were looking to get more from the English taxpayer themselves.
The British (read, the English) are upset because they subsidize much of Europe through the EU. How long is it going to be before there is a tax-payers revolt against all the subsidies to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, none of which pay their own way?
Ms. Sturgeon is also enthusiastic in her desire to see Britain scrap its nuclear weapons in order to partially pay for all this largesse.
Of greater concern is her insistence that, if David Cameron’s Conservative coalition is returned to power, and the promised referendum on EU membership is held, Scotland must have the right to remain in the EU, if England votes to depart. This would automatically give Scotland independence, even though voters rejected independence in a referendum last September. Independence is what she and her party are committed to.
But how would they pay for it? Scotland depends for roughly 10% of its expenditure on the English taxpayer. This will only increase if the SNP joins the Labour Party in a left-wing coalition.
If Scotland remains within the EU and England withdraws, Scotland will need all the help it can get . . . from Germany, Europe’s other cash cow!
PS: I thought you would all appreciate the following letter which appeared in the conservative Daily Telegraph of London. It’s a very astute observation on the British election campaign:
While there, somebody in the crowd stepped forward and gave her a white teddy bear. My nephew’s wife was standing next to the lady with the white teddy bear and heard the whole thing. The duchess supposedly thanked the lady with: “Thank you. I will take that for my dau—?” starting a rumor that the already most famous baby in the world is a girl. Afterwards, it was agreed that the word wasn’t “dau…” but “aww…” so the world is still speculating on the future king or queen of England and a few other countries.
Anyway, it really doesn’t matter any more, as the law has been changed. Instead of the crown passing to the eldest male child, it now simply passes to the eldest child, which means, that if it is a girl (and William is said to want a girl, though Kate differs), it won’t matter.
All sixteen Commonwealth Realms (kingdoms) had to agree to the change. These are the nations of which the queen is Head of State. All are members of the 54-nation Commonwealth, of which she is Head. The other 38 countries have presidents or kings of their own. Almost all were former British colonies. Putting it another way, the British monarch has a role to play in over a quarter of the world’s countries!
It’s difficult to understand the obsessive need to change the law of primogeniture. Perhaps that’s because I’m the firstborn male! But the fact is that in the last 176 years since Queen Victoria ascended the throne, women have sat on the throne for 125 of them, during a period of time when the eldest male was given preference! The change could mean that a male monarch will be as rare as a hot day in England!
I was in England at the time of Prince William’s birth in 1982. I remember walking down a busy high street when I heard church bells ringing out. They were celebrating the birth of an heir to the throne. Thirty years later, that heir awaits the birth of his own heir.
The birth of a baby should always be a joyous event. But the birth of an heir to the throne is particularly joyous, a public event that people around the world can take pride in. Amongst other things, it ensures another generation of political stability in all the queen’s realms. That is, of course, barring an unforeseen national catastrophe.
"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened." — Sir Winston Churchill