Two-hundred-and-forty-six years ago, a group of colonists — second-class citizens in King George’s England — decided they didn’t like being looked down on anymore by highborn, inbred men who were no better than they were but were held in higher esteem because of who their father was.
So they revolted to rid themselves of a society that depended on titles and castles and such in favor of a slightly more egalitarian setup; your station in life was determined by how smart and clever and industrious you were. Of course, it also depended on who you knew, but that’s true anywhere under any system.
To no one’s surprise, nations all across the world saw what those former colonists did and thought it was a pretty cool idea. They, too, axed their king or queen — sometimes literally — and joined the republic lineup.
But Great Britain thought it was still swell to bend the knee to a royal highness even though the royal corgies had more power than the person wearing the crown. Well, they’re welcome to that kind of silliness. We Americans, a completely grown-up country, don’t believe that one’s station in life should be determined by who their mommy or daddy were.
And that’s how it should be.
So I get a belly laugh watching the remnants of power and privilege in England run around pretending that what they believe is important or that who they’re boffing matters to anyone but starry-eyed teenage girls dreaming of becoming a princess by marrying a prince.
Currently, one of the inconsequential heirs to the throne — a guy named Harry (presumably because Tom and Dick and already been taken) — is embroiled in a scandal by airing all of his family’s dirty laundry in a book called Afterthought — or maybe it’s called Spare as in Harry is a “spare” heir to the throne, being second in line.
This was actually a very precarious position to be in 500 years ago. “Spare” heirs had a nasty habit of disappearing lest they get it in their heads to become THE heir to the throne.
Harry need not worry about that sort of thing. But being disowned by his fabulously wealthy family is a real possibility.
God forbid poor Harry might actually have to work for a living.