Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 22 July 2013

The birth of a Prince

It was not until this evening that I heard the good news of the birth of a son to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this afternoon. As with any birth one wishes the child and parents well in a purely human response. Given that this birth determines the line of succession to the throne for another generation it has a wider significance and is indeed a birth to be celebrated and for which to be thankful.

Some of the pre-natal coverage in the media does at times seem excessive,  but as a measure of interest in the Royal family then it is positive - there is of course the danger of it flipping over into something too sentimental and detracting from the serious and central role of the Monarchy.

After all the media headlines about amending the succession with the recent act of Parliament  I do feel heartened that the birth of a Prince puts that discussion into perspective. The problem now is that although the UK parliament has altered the rule sof succession many of the Commonwealth realms have not so far. As it stands that does not matter for three generations, but it does suggest the agreement between them on this matter as announced the other year has not so far been found to be consistent.

For what it is worth, and it was only instinct, I expected the child to be a boy, so in that sense it is no surprise to me.

Congratulations to the new HRH and his parents - my prayers and good wishes.

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