It's scary enough that the British Home Secretary has abadoned the task of accompanying royal births in order to assure that each new baby is who he says he is, and was not present when Princess Anne gave birth last week to a son.
What domestic problems could Great Britain have that are more pressing than this time-honored duty? The custom was established in 1688, after rumors that a newborn schemer had smuggled himself into St. James's Palace in a warming pan in hopes of passing himself off as the Prince of Wales One can't be too careful about this sort of thing, particularly when motherhood is so easy to check by having a trustworthy officials on the scene. Suppose this gentleman makes a good-will tour of the United States two or three decades from now, and everybody goes into a tizzy about how handsome and charming he is, and then it turns out that he isn't the son of princess but of a warming pan, and doesn't have a drop of royal blood in him, and is really very loutish looking when you get a good look.
But even if you believe this baby is who he claims to be, there are problems in his life. He was born a commoner, and many British subjects were upset about this, having tried living that way themselves. Commonness for him would be a condition easily remedied, because the lady who can do something about that is his grammy who would give him anything in the world he wants, even if his parents say it's not good for him.
And that is what happened. According to royal reports, Princess Anne and her husband, Mark Phillips, told her mother they didn't want the child to have a title because they felt "it would be a hindrance" in his "future career."
No doubt they plan to launch him on a political career in the House of Commons, and didn't want to condemn him, by a title, to the House of Lords. But while it is understandable that the fond parents of a new baby enjoy dreaming that some day he will shed pride on the family by becoming a politician, they might as well know now that they are reaching too high.
Title or not, everybody's going to know who he is. There he'll be, on his first day in office, with the queen solemnly opening Parliament, and she'll say something like "Are you sure you're eating propoer meals and getting enough sleep?" and the whole thing will be out.
It is much more likely that he will stay within his class and choose a profession suitable to his station. The queen has just given the Phillips family a handsome, 1,200-acre estate costing up to $1.4 million. After growing up there, the young heir no doubt will wish to imitate the example of his peers and make proper use of his inheritance.
He will want to conduct guided tours of the house and grounds, with special teatime and weekend rates for tourists who wish to experience Britian's good life.
There, a title will be a great advantage. After all, what fun is there in buying post cards from a commoner?