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Why Britain loves its royalty

Tony Appleton, a town crier, announces the birth of the royal baby, outside St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London, Monday, July 22, 2013. Palace officials say Prince William's wife Kate has given birth to a baby boy. The baby was born at 4:24 p.m. and weighs 8 pounds 6 ounces. The infant will become third in line for the British throne after Prince Charles and William. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

So another fairy tale begins: Britain’s royal infant enters a gilded fishbowl which his parents cannot protect him from, but must prepare him for.

Some day, his father William, like so many fathers, will have to sit him down and have “The Talk.” Explaining to his son that he must accept living in the biggest house, wearing the best clothes, eating the best foods (as much as that’s possible in Britain,) going to the best schools, and meeting all the best people … and must do it all knowing that the only reason he has these privileges is that he emerged from the right womb.

And because it’s all been handed to him, to feel deserving of it, he will have to create his own life challenges, like joining the army, and taking on worthy causes.

And if he does it well, the reward will be happy subjects.

So why do the British cling to their royalty? And why do we secretly envy them? I think because royalty takes the pressure off.

Here in America, we’re all brought up with the American dream that anybody can get rich, or be president, or at least marry a Kardashian – so we beat each other’s brains out striving for wealth and status.

But in Britain, you grow up knowing you will never be King, no matter how hard you work. So you are off the hook. And yet at the same time, you get to feel like your country still has an empire, without the responsibility and expense of actually running one – a trick that we Americans have yet to learn.

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