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HOLMBERG: We could use a royal baby to rally around

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – So, how about that royal bouncing baby boy? Are you excited?

“Makes me feel proud,” said Joe Cashin, co-owner of Penny Lane Pub in downtown Richmond and a big fan of the Queen.

“I’m elated,” said British transplant Paul “Mash” Marsh, who was celebrating with a pint Tuesday. “It’s good for the country. We’ve had a good year. Just won Tour de France. Won Wilbledon. Now we’ve got a brand-new king in waiting.”

It’s easy to mock the pomp and circumstance surrounding the royal baby and the whole monarchy.

But consider, since Britain is our parent country, this royal baby is distant kin to us. Like it or not.

And, maybe we can borrow a cup of sugar from all this royal fawning.

“I think it rallied the country together,” Cashin said, remembering the troubles the monarchy has endured in the past generation, most notably the death of Princess Di. “They look at this as somehow to bring the royal family back up to what it was years and years ago . . . righting the ship.”

There’s something frightfully decent about this culture and the monarchy, no matter how you view the impact British colonization has had around the world.

“I think the word is respect,” Marsh said. “It’s a sense of tradition, well-being, sophistication.”

And gentility. At least in modern times.

Cashin said even though the monarchy is a known money-maker for Britain, taxpayers would support it if it wasn’t. Such is the depth of devotion, particularly to the Queen.

And this baby boy is a symbolic reminder of the power of the monarchy. Few empires throughout all of history have had so great an impact. Which is why the majority of the people on earth speak English.

Remember, it’s just a small island nation that ruled the waves and took over much of the world.

We grieved and lived in fear for days when two young bombers struck at the Boston Marathon this year.  Londoners defined “stiff upper lip” and “keep calm and carry on” when German bombs fell on them like rain every night for two straight months 73 years ago.

I’d like to see some of this same pride, reserve and resolve in our nation, which lately seems to wallow in division, fear, entitlement, excess and whining.

I fear we have become the royal babies.

It would be nice if we, too, could find some unity and  right our ship – even just a little – with something as grand as the birth of a child.


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