In the deep hours of the night, when I can’t sleep, strange and random thoughts float around in my mind. The other night it was this:
I admire that Prince William and his wife, Catherine, have carved out a somewhat normal young couple’s life these past years. Insisted on it, really.
How many future Kings of England are able to live almost off the grid, in a normal farmhouse in a remote part of Wales? How many have had careers as search and rescue helicopter pilots? How many future Queens of England have done the family grocery shopping, cooking and most of the housekeeping? When was the last time you saw a photo of a royal wearing blue jeans or a baseball cap? How many public figures of their stature have had no nosy neighbors dishing dirt to the tabloids?
I suspect the answer is “none.”
Granted, Prince William’s permitted a work schedule probably far more flexible than other pilots, given his official, ceremonial duties. And by necessity, the couple has a security detail.
Even so, they’ve managed to claim a relatively normal life, away from the paparazzi, and they’ll have it for at least for a few more years. This experience with (close to) the way most people live may make William a new kind of monarch, one more in touch with his people and with his country.
Prince Henry’s no slouch, either. Visiting a hospital for war heroes the other day, he said: “The Army, for me and thousands like me, is a family. In that respect, for veterans coming here, it must be like coming home. That is why this place matters, and always will.”
Sure, maybe his PR person wrote it. Or maybe not. Both those boys are great extemporaneous speakers and have shown a lot of heart.
The Windsors are a long-lived bunch, so Willliam may not take the throne in my lifetime. That’s a strange thought: that I am so old now that I might not see his coronation.
But I hope I do, because I suspect he’ll be a breath of fresh air for the monarchy.
Princess Diana had her issues, but she got one thing right, and that’s motherhood. She would be very proud of those two boys.