The whole world was riveted with delight as Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex introduced their newborn son yesterday.
The adorable Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is seventh in line to the throne. When his grandfather Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, becomes King, the newborn could become His Royal Highness Prince Archie of Sussex. It’s all magnificent, and perhaps uncomfortable for the boy’s father, who found it difficult growing up as Prince Harry under the weight of royal tradition. He preferred being called Captain Wales while an Army Officer, then chose to marry an American actress and divorcée. Prince Harry and Meghan are fond of breaking with tradition.
What strikes me most about these proudly “non-traditional” royals, however, is how much a world which loves “to break with tradition” still celebrates the most traditional thing in the whole history of humanity: a man and a woman united as one flesh in order to bring into the world the unmistakable glory of a beautiful, newborn, immortal being. As Archie’s mother exclaimed with exuberant joy: “it’s magic.”
We are often told that history has sides, or that we must move with whatever cultural revolution is underway at present. But history doesn’t have sides, and the revolutions never really make good on their promise to change the world. History is just us. Or as St Augustine once had it: “We make our times; such as we are, such are the times.”
The world is tired and weary. Evils abound. But God is constantly renewing the world with new life, making even the paparazzi bow to a newborn. That’s because we can’t help but recognise and adore the actual goodness of humanity. No one yet doubts that Archie is a boy. No one is playing games with His Royal Pronouns. The whole world lets the nonsense rest for a bit to gaze at a baby. That’s a great tradition.
May Archie discover that he’s been made, through the union of a man and a woman, for a royal dignity even greater than king: friendship with God.
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