July 27, 2013 10:46:32 PM
Adele Elliott - [email protected]
The stork has been a busy boy in recent weeks. Biggest news was (of course) the birth of the most recent heir to the throne of England. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, have finally named the little prince, George Alexander Louis. It's not a pretty name, but it sounds like someone who could rule.
There are a few things he might have to tackle before donning the crown -- like potty training, eating with that silver spoon, and perfecting the royal wave, which is an unusual sort of wrist twist. His great-grandmother, the queen, is a pro at that. I am sure she will be eager to give him some pointers.
I was concerned to see that Kate showed off the little prince while wearing a polka dotted smock almost identical to the one that Diana had worn when introducing William to the world. Kate has often been compared to her deceased mother-in-law because they are both fashonistas. Surely, this was no accident. Still, it seemed slightly morbid. Diana had a tragic life -- her ivory tower notwithstanding. Kate wears Diana's sapphire ring, her title as the most chic royal, and now a copy of Diana's blue apres-maternity outfit. Is she trying to re-create a heartbreaking persona? I hope not.
Kate certainly got one thing right. She was clever enough to produce a male successor to the throne. Girl babies tend to cause a lot of angst for queens and other consorts to the king. Henry VIII beheaded and banished a couple of wives because they did not produce a male.
We have our own royalty in this country. The baby of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West caused quite a stir. In a headline-grabbing ploy, North West made her debut a bit before George Alexander Louis (although they were due on the same day). However, we have not seen photos of her. Well, some were released of a tiny baby that may, or may not, have been the very amusingly named North. Does this mean that she is more elite and exclusive than George? Possibly.
Some babies arrive with more fanfare than others. Zoos around our country are welcoming "zoo-borns" that are extra precious, and might be considered rarer than human ones.
This year, a pair of endangered Red Pandas, an extraordinary primate called the Wolf's Guenon, and a Sumatran Tiger were born at the Sacramento Zoo. In Atlanta, Lun Lun, a 15-year-old giant panda, also gave birth to two healthy babies. One maternity prize must go to Lion Country Safari in Florida, which saw the birth of a rare white rhino, named Anna, and a giraffe calf, named Willow.
Cat lovers will be pleased to learn that two clouded leopard cubs, which are in jeopardy of extinction, were born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Not to be outdone, the Omaha Zoo saw the birth of five lion cubs. Bears, otters, wolves -- oh my! The list keeps growing.
We hear way too much about the progeny of the wealthy, titled and infamous. But I keep thinking about babies that arrive without the luxury of being loved. The Earth is groaning with an overcrowded human population. Animal shelters, including the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society, euthanize more animals than are adopted.
The Dispatch publishes announcements of births in our area. Most of the local parents choose names that are more creative than "North." I could not find one named George Alexander. These, too, are royalty. Perhaps they do not enter the world with a title. Yet, they are as cherished to their families as any crowned heads, either real (as in England), or invented (as in the kingdom of Kardashian).
I welcome all babies, human and every other species. I hope that they have lives that are filled with love and are secure in the knowledge that they were truly wanted. I won't hold my breath.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.