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By Paul Goodman
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Screen shot 2013-07-23 at 07.31.22Let us be optimists on this morning after a royal birth, and hope that the Queen reigns until she is at least 100.  Prince Charles would thus become King in his late seventies.  Let us be positive all over again, and hope that he, too, makes it to over 100 – in this epoch when more people live for longer. Prince William would thus become King during his eighties.  Let us be hopeful a third time over, and assume that increasing longevity takes King William, as he would then be, to the age of 110 or thereabouts.  His son would ascend the throne in his eighties, once again: by my calculation, the year would be roughly 2093.

On the occasion of royal births, political writers and columnists tend to think short-term, and try to calculate what the effect of the one in question will be on opinion polls and Government ratings (if any).  This morning, it is surely more appropriate to think long-term.  I'm most unlikely to see Prince William become King if my cheerful hopes about royal lifespans prove correct.  But whether I am or not, it is both sombre and strangely comforting to think that most of those Britons alive today will be dead when his own son becomes King, but that a new generation will be alive and flourishing – such is the power of endurance, God willing, of our monarchy.  As the poet almost wrote: "History is now and Britain".

ConservativeHome sends its warmest congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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