Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Baby Musings

Guernsey's official government Twitter account wrongly congratulated Kate Middleton and Prince Charles on the birth of the royal baby.
The tweet read: "Congratulations to the Duchess of Cambridge and the Prince of Wales on the birth of their baby boy."
The mistake was quickly rectified, but not until the tweet had been retweeted to a number of followers. It is a mark of how easily mistakes can go viral online.
The later announcement from Guernsey was that they would be firing a 21 gun salute at midday to celebrate the Royal birth. It's lucky it was not a firing squad for the person who was responsible for the mistake!
Meanwhile, the three babies born in Jersey on the same day as the newest member of the Royal Family are being given £100 notes by the island's government; a special gift organised by the Treasury and Resources and Health and Social Services departments. A cynic might wonder if they still have so many of the notes left over from the launch last year that they don't know what to do with them.
Speculation has been ongoing on the name of the young Royal, and by the time this blog goes to press, he may well will have been named.
It surprised me that Richard was on the list of possibilities, as Richard III was the last King deposed by Henry Tudor, of which our present Monarchy can claim a long if somewhat convoluted descent. John is also out; after Magna Carta, there has only ever been one King John; the name is associated with bad luck.
It is interesting to notice how the naming pattern developed. William, Edward and Henry (or their French equivalents) were the main names of monarchs of Norman descent. Stephen was involved in a civil war, and that lost the name popularity. Richard was popular for a while - remember Richard the Lionheart - up until Richard III, then dropped out of favour.
Henry and Edward continued until the end of the House of Tudor, after which James and Charles became popular. Then when the House of Orange took over, William became popular, and a latecomer was George from the House of Hanover, which then was almost done to death with George following George almost without break.
Arthur has been mooted for its mythological roots, but may be considered unlucky. The last Prince Arthur as direct heir to the throne was Henry VIII's sickly brother, who predeceased his father.
Pre-conquest names are rather out of fashion apart from Edward. No Monarch has been called Harold. Prince Harry is a diminutive form of Henry, not Harold. Edgar sounds terribly 1920s and old-fashioned, and no one in their right mind would be likely to call their child Eadwig. With the exception, I imagine, of the people who are apparently prepared to gamble on odds of 500 to 1 that the new child's name will be hashtag.
Also in the news, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated British Queen Elizabeth II with the birth of her first great-grandchild. Putin wished good health to the newborn prince, his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the entire royal family. It is a far cry from the days of the Cold War, and Soviet Ideology!

And finally, there are a wide assortment of Royal Baby souvenirs, ranging from the traditional (china mugs or plates, commemorative coins and stamps) to the seriously bad taste (a Royal baby morning-sickness bag). And there are the cheap - a tin of biscuits with "Royal Baby" embossed on the lid, but which is actually little different from any tin of biscuits, except for the price. It is estimated by economists that there will be between £80-£200  million of extra sales generated from souvenirs to toys, books and DVDs.
The one I found intriguing was "Royal Lullabies: Soothing Music for a Royal Baby."  Which as you might expect has children themed orchestral pieces such as Jeux d'Enfants and Kinderszenen but alas, not my own first musical memory, Puff the Magic Dragon.

No comments: