The eyes of the world have been focused on England since the fall of 2014 when Prince William and Kate Middleton announced that they were expecting their second child. Over the past few days, a lot of money has changed hands as people have speculated and wagered on the gender of the unborn child and then, once the girl was born, what name she would be given. Those who chose Charlotte won!
You might not know that there were actually two sisters born in 1822 and 1833 who also held the title of Princess of Cambridge. Princess Charlotte therefore is not the first to hold this title.
Some might not know or care about the fact that if Queen Elizabeth hadn't in 2013 changed a law that had been in place for 314 years this baby would not be allowed the title "Princess". Previously a female could descend to the throne only if she didn't have brothers or nephews of a deceased brother. Now the actually is forth in line to the throne. Princess Charlotte will never reign unless her brother, George, dies or abdicates. If that did happen, however, she would now be crowned before any other of her brothers who might be born in the future.
There is a lot of history tied to this birth. There are also a great number of implications for the future of the royal family and their ties to the rest of the world.
Well, it doesn't really matter if you support or oppose the monarchy. The fact is that even though you are not likely not a member of a royal family, there are things that you, Prince William and Kate have in common:
1. Having a child is a big deal! Nine months is a long time to wait for the birth of a baby. There is always some concern as well as hope during that time that the baby will be healthy. Because raising a child is an awesome task, excitement is also usually accompanied by a strong sense of responsibility.
2. People usually love and value children even before they are born. We all expect and hope that a new baby will be cared for and encouraged to reach potential. Sometimes this caring comes from unexpected sources. We might be surprised by the world's reaction to the pregnancy and birth of Princess Charlotte. Were you also surprised that others were interested in your birth or in the birth of your children?
3. Gender is extremely important. There have been a lot of efforts over the years to debunk stereotypes and provide equal opportunities but in most countries there are still differences in the way that males and females live and are treated. Gender issues go far beyond how an infant will be dressed.
4. Choosing a name for a child is serious business. Names are the most personal and meaningful things that a person will ever have. The one you were given will be with you throughout your lifetime and can tell you a lot about your parents' values and their hopes for you. Naming your children also holds significance for your child so you need to be very aware of this when you are choosing.
This year Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge has a great deal to celebrate on Mother's Day. She has delivered a healthy daughter who has opportunity to influence the world in the years to come.
You too have reason to celebrate. It might be to honour your own mother or to be honoured by your children. Perhaps you wish to think about or contact someone who has been a mother figure for you - a mentor or example to appreciate.
This Sunday you might be with a crowd of people. Perhaps you will be alone all day. No matter where you are, however, you always have the opportunity to think about and give thanks for those women who have been there for you at various times in your life.
Have a wonderful Mother's Day!