Hump Day: Too early to start sucking up to Good King Ethelbert?

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Well, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are finally parents. On Monday, the Duchess – or simply Kate, as she is popularly known – went into labour and sent the world’s media and royal-watchers into a frenzy. Thankfully, the wait wasn’t too long and the future king was born within a few hours.  Reports stated that mother and baby were doing fine. For any birth that goes well, royal or not, we can be grateful.

The attention given the royal pregnancy was all in due course. Similar attention was given to Prince Charles’ birth and William’s birth, of course. Today, with the onslaught of social media, it just seems more abundant. On Facebook, especially, users were posting updates and speculating on birth dates and names.

Others decried all the interest and wondered out loud what all the fuss was about. Why spend so much time paying attention to the birth of one child being born into an astonishing amount privilege?  I’ll tell you why, the little bugger will one day have the power to have me beheaded, that’s why. When he’s eventually on the throne, the future king will pretty much have the authority to just walk down the street and lop off peoples’ heads with his royal sword just because he feels like it. Maybe it was some Internet rumour I read somewhere, but I’m pretty sure he’s allowed to do that.

Anyway, even if it’s not true, I’m not taking any chances. I’ll change the kid’s smelly royal diaper, help train him to go on the royal potty, protect his royal face from being punched by schoolyard bullies and even do his royal homework. If it means not having my head chopped off in a fit of royal temper, I’ll do as I’m royally told.

At the time this column is being written, there’s yet no name for the little tyke, so that will be the wild speculation over the next few days. I just hope they come up with a name that hasn’t been used much before.  Pope Francis chose a name no one else had used, so why can’t William and Kate? Well, Queen Elizabeth has a bit to say in all of that, so I doubt she’ll get them get too crazy.

Something tells me that when this baby becomes king in 50 or 60 years or so after his father dies — assuming William lives into this 80s — we’ll all be hailing King George VII, King Edward IX, King James III or perhaps King William VI or King Charles IV if he’s named after his father (the future King William V) or grandfather (the future King Charles III). Maybe he’ll be named after Prince Harry and become King Henry IX, who knows? (Harry is just a nickname, by the way. Harry’s real name is Henry.)

Somehow, though, I doubt we’ll be seeing an entirely new royal name enter the fray. I wouldn’t put my money down on some of the more popular modern names for British baby boys. Currently, the top 10 in the U.K. are 1) Noah; 2) Oscar; 3) Oliver; 4) Isaac; 5) Jacob; 6) Dylan; 7) Ethan; 8) Leo; 9) Alfie; 10) Harry. While one may assume that the “Harry” on the list is because of Prince Harry, I would suggest it’s really based on Harry Styles, the most popular member of the British boy band One Direction.

I somehow doubt that receiving a letter from King Dylan or King Noah ordering you to appear before him would hold much gravitas. Dylan? Noah? They sound like California surfer dudes with hair bleached blond by the sun who are kept as boy toys by lonely married women twice their age.

I’m betting on James, personally.  It’s a nice name that is reasonably original but which holds some authority. There have been a number of kings of Scotland and England named James, so it also has some history to it. King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England were the same person. He died in 1625, so a wait of approximately 475 years between Jameses would likely be enough to make it original yet traditional at the same time.

If William and Kate get into the royal bubbly to celebrate the future king’s birth, let’s hope they don’t go too far back in history to get an even older name such as Eadred, Eadwig, Ethelred, Cnut (Lord help the dyslexics who misspell that one!) and Harthacnut. Yup, Harthacnut. Pretty sure that one won’t be making a comeback on the most popular baby names list, either.

Yes, those are all actual names of previous English monarchs. Thankfully, in 1042, monarch names began sounding a bit more familiar. Edward. Harold. Edgar.

Names aside, a royal birth is a much-anticipated occasion across the Commonwealth. It’s happy news. Nothing wrong with celebrating it or paying some attention to it! It doesn’t mean we forget the ill or the poor, but it gives those who are so inclined a happy diversion from all the horrible news out there — the train accidents, the shootings, the racism, the terrorist plots, environmental disasters and murders. There’s nothing wrong with a little harmless distraction, I say, so why give grief to those who are taking some joy in the royal birth?

I wonder if he’ll be a handsome king or a hard-looking one? I have to say, Charles is looking better as he ages. When he was younger, he was one odd-looking man. He could have been Alfalfa’s stunt double in The Little Rascals. William and Harry, however have been blessed with good looks, although there remains rampant speculation as to the true identity of Harry’s father since he looks a lot like a close friend of Diana’s.

I just hope the baby doesn’t grow up to have red hair and freckles like Prince Harry. If so, Kate has some serious explaining to do.

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