Some royal baby love from readers

Astute readers who crack open Saturday's paper (yes, the one with ink and paper) may notice an anomaly: On the letters page, it will be noted that 29 readers weighed in on the birth this week of George Alexander Louis, the first child of Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine -- and, presumptively, the future King George VII. And yet despite this fairly good number of letters (the topic came in second -- by a long shot -- to the George Zimmerman verdict), we published only one.

What gives?

It turns that almost all of the letters were written in response to the one that actually was published, which declared that baby George's birth should be of considerable media interest only if the "future king is to be named Kong." The writer, Arroyo Grande resident Walter Ross, dismissed the British monarchy as "breathtakingly anachronistic."

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Readers weren't pleased. They said Ross was unnecessarily disdainful of British history and that the birth of a new prince deserved to be celebrated. Some questioned why we published the letter at all.

As the editor who decides which letters get published, my view was that Ross' submission was a reasonable reaction to the media frenzy over an event that, stripped of its royal pedigree, wasn't remarkable. This isn't to endorse the letter writer's view but rather to say it's worth airing.

In the same vein, those who disagree with Ross' irreverent reaction -- and our publishing of it --  also deserve to have their views aired. Here is a selection of their letters.

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Adrienne Cluque of San Jacinto explained why we care about Britain's royals:

"Young George's birth is of news value. Why? We relate to the royal family.

"We loved Princess Diana. We watched her marry and give birth to William and Harry, and we were horrified when she died in a car accident. Now her firstborn has his own son, and it's a glorious day for all.

"It's not a waste of time for people worldwide to celebrate this beautiful event. So to most, it is news."

Burbank resident Grace Hampton says the royal baby's birth gives her a welcome reprieve from celebrity news:

"Oh, come on. How can anyone direct so much vitriol toward a new baby? I may be an Anglophile, but I think the British royals are beautiful people. 

"After years of Brangelina, TomKat, the Kardashians and Scientology, it is such a joy to see two people like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their new baby boy."

Gino Hasler of Arleta says this is about history:

"The British have hundreds of years of rich history and a deeply rooted sense for traditions carried on until today.

"I suggest that Ross pay a visit to the library and do some reading on the subject. Perhaps he will grasp the idea before insulting the British people in a public forum."


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