Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, are the proud parents of a baby boy -- 8 pounds, 6 ounces and third in line to the British throne. His name has not been disclosed; London bookmakers favor George, which is a noble name for a king.
What will it be like for this child growing up, knowing that many around the world awaited his birth? What will it be like for him to know that, God willing, he will be king?
This birth is a twofer. Babies make people feel good and so does the British monarchy, even to Americans who once rejected it with finality. People seem to need royalty.
Humans long for tradition, duty and dignity -- qualities generally personified by the British monarchy. In 2010, the stylish movie "The King's Speech" dramatized the struggles of King George VI with his stammer. The tale had audiences sympathizing with the king and it won the Oscar for best motion picture.
As one Brit explained the monarchy, "It's not rational, but somehow it just works." Yet the monarchy is more rational than hero worship of professional athletes or imperial presidencies in America.
As for childbirth itself, its appeal is deep and universal. It is the power of new life and hope. The philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote: "The new always happens against the overwhelming odds of statistical laws and their probability, which for all practical, everyday purposes amounts to certainty; the new therefore always appears in the guise of a miracle." Welcome, royal baby.