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Prince George Is The Envy Of U.S. Royal Wannabes

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Meet The New Prince

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart St. Mary's Hospital in London on July 23 with their son, Prince George. (Getty Images / July 24, 2013)

The birth of a future British monarch to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge captured the attention of the world. That island nation continues to hold the copyright on all things royal. There were, as Slate pointed out, 367,000 other babies born on the same day as Prince George, but only he was the subject of news alerts around the world.

The birth of a baby to the second in line to the throne comes with consequences for some and yearnings for others. Prince Andrew, friend of the Gadhafis, moves out of the show position and into fourth place in the line of succession. Don't be surprised if you soon see his two daughters, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, posting their resumes on Monster.com. Time to start working, ladies.

Given the longevity of the members of the House of Windsor, the newborn prince is likely to reign into the 22nd century when he succeeds to the throne. The queen is 87 and still fulfilling the duties of her position with a calendar that features hundreds of engagements a year. Her husband is 91 and her mother lived to 101. These are people who need not hesitate to load the pantry with green bananas. They will be around to see them ripen.

In America, we share bonds of language and culture with the United Kingdom that allow us to watch the monarchy closely without having to live under it. We are more bemused than fascinated, but still part of its vast audience. We do, after all, have our own democratic versions of aristocracy.

You can excuse Bushes and Clintons for sighing wistfully on Monday as Prince George entered the world to a life of privilege, deference, affection and the peculiar influence without power that a modern British monarch exercises. It's a lot easier if you don't have to run for the prominent position you occupy.

Take Hillary Clinton, former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, hiring herself at $200,000 a throw to tell anecdotes about the politics of the world while she awaits the moment she can launch another bid for the White House. You think you'll see Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, pocketing a check for her public appearances? Not likely, mate. She's got dignity by the yard as she carries on a lifetime of good works around the world.

Then there's poor Chelsea Clinton, struggling to get the hang of television news on a national network. No obscure apprenticeship at the ABC affiliate in Fargo, N.D., for her to get a sense of how a camera works.

Prince George doesn't have to wonder if he's going to be the king. He need only keep breathing and the prize is his. Not so Jeb Bush. Does he dare try to become the third member of his family to win the White House eight years after his unpopular brother left it? What of another aspiring George, that would be George P. Bush, Jeb's son? He's running for state land commissioner in Texas, an obscure office that may provide a launchpad to higher places.

The goodwill surrounding the birth of Prince George reminds us how fortunes change. Twenty years ago, the marital antics of Charles and Andrew caused the monarchy to fall into some disrepute. Now it's thriving. Ninety percent of the British approve of the queen. That's probably higher than Barack Obama's rating at the Nobel Prize Committee these days.

The resurgence of the royal family in British affection gives hope to the ambitious. Americans have memories of the baggage that accumulates during eight years in the White House for the Clintons and Bushes. Fatigue can fade and blossom into another season of public love.

As Prince George left the hospital Tuesday, there was a poignant moment that ought to cause the compassionate to spare a thought for Cathy Malloy, Connecticut's aggrieved first lady. The little fella gets a convoy of Range Rovers and a police escort on his way home to Kensington Palace. That has to sting for Malloy, who last year announced at the Democratic National Convention that she drives a really crummy car (though she offered a more potty mouth description).

Life without a driver renders her, Malloy declared, "second class." And the kid gets a motorcade. Justice, there is thy sting.

Kevin Rennie is a lawyer and a former Republican state legislator. He can be reached at kfrennie@yahoo.com.

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