Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Girl power, defender of the realm-style

In Shakespeare's Henry VIII, the character Anne Boleyn famously said, "I would not be a queen, for all the world." In real life, the historical Anne Boleyn did indeed become Queen of England as the second wife of Henry VIII. She gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I, whose gender greatly disappointed Henry. However, the second monarch of the House of Tudor would have had a baby himself had he known what was coming five centuries thence. Kate Middleton, as the entire world now knows, is pregnant. We've also just learned that the British Commonwealth has jettisoned the rules that give boys precedence over girls in the royal line of succession. Slate's Alyssa Rosenberg welcomed the change: "So if this royal baby is a girl, Will and Kate won't have to get to work on a boy immediately—or ever." We see which way the stream of time doth run, indeed.

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