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The Boston Globe

Opinion

TOM KEANE

Confined by destiny

It’s better to be a commoner with free will than a prince with none

A child is born and America rejoices, making us wonder, once again, what it is about British royalty that has such attraction for those living in the land of the free and the brave. We supposedly cast off that yoke 237 years ago, but we never really seem to have gotten over our fascination with royals, wishing, perhaps, that we could be them. In truth, it’s a wish we’d never want fulfilled.

The last century or so has seen tale after tale about the soap opera-like lives of the House of Windsor. Edward’s abdication in 1936. George’s accession to the throne, stutter or not. Elizabeth’s long reign, from age 26 and now in its 61st year. The fairy-tale wedding of Charles and Diana, its grinding dissolution, and her tragic death. The fairy-tale wedding as well of William and Kate — she plucked from the obscurity of a commoner (well, OK, her parents are multimillionaires) — and then the multiple false reports of pregnancies, confirmation, and finally, last week, the birth of George Alexander Louis.

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