Yesterday afternoon, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became the parents of a baby boy - as far unnamed. The child weighs 3,8 kg so it's quite a healthy lad!
I often wonder how it is to be a royal baby. Of course, these babies are cherished and well-cared for. They don't lack in anything that could be bought, but do they also have what can't be? Growing up, they have to follow rules galore and are never allowed to set one foot wrong - otherwise it will be reported widely and 'scandal' is whispered...
When my 13th century forefather would have been a legitimate child, I could now be at least a Countess or even better, a Duchess or Princess. And so would be my sister. Our father and mother would hold a title going back to the times before William the Conqueror. Our ancestor, Robert de Bethune, belonged to the house of Dampierre which was linked to most of the important families in Europe. One of the Dampierres was King of Jerusalem and another was Empress of Constantinopel.
I am glad this kid was only the son of a serving girl, made pregnant by the then Count of Flanders. She was well rewarded for it, and the kid became Mayor of our town. In the Middle Ages, being a bastard of nobility was not a shame.
Still, it feels nice to know for yourself you're of the same rank as most of the royalty living now. Being Count of Flanders in the Middle Ages was better than being king of England by far. Flanders was the wealthiest region in Europe and lots of kings envied us this wealth - hence the many wars to gain our territory. Flanders was bigger then the Flanders that exists now. It had parts of Holland and the whole of the north of France among its territory, along with the Flemish provinces.
But I grew up with parents who were strict but who allowed us many freedom, allowed us to be who we like to become and who loved us until they died. This tight sense of family still shows because my sister and I share a house and live together in harmony - most likely until our death. We can do what we like and enjoy life at its fullest. A royal prince or princess won't be allowed this luxury. There is the protocol. Can you imagine you have to call your mum or dad 'Your Majesty?' and you can't hug them when you want? Prince Charles, I know, had to make a special request when he wanted to see his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
No, I don't envy royal babies!