Baby Cambridge, as England's newest prince has been dubbed, is enjoying his first night in Kensington Palace this evening with his royal parents, but he won’t have to worry about a "stuffy Victorian kind of upbringing," BBC commentator Andrew Neil tells Newsmax TV.
"They're young. They're modern. They're outward looking, they'll bring up the prince as normal as a young prince can have an upbringing. They'll be a very modern couple in the way they look after him," said Neil in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
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"It will not be a stuffy Victorian kind of upbringing. It'll be a lot less stuffy than even the upbringing William had, and that was pretty modern, and worlds away from the upbringing that Prince Charles had,” said Neil, who had dinner with the royal couple last November. “This young couple will bring this young lad up as very much as a prince of the 21st century."
Britain’s royal arrival at 4:24 p.m. on June 22 may well mark the continuation of a thousand-year tradition into the 21st century as the new prince leaps ahead of Prince Harry to become the monarch’s third in line to succeed Queen Elizabeth after Prince Charles and Prince William.
"The significance is that it secures the monarchy through the 21st century. When the 20th century came to an end, the reputation of the British monarchy among British people was pretty much at an all-time low," observed Neil, a former editor at the Economist magazine and the Sunday Times of London.
"Not many people were sure that it would survive the new century but with the marriage of William and Kate and now with the new royal prince having arrived — the best headline of the story is ‘We Three Kings’ because there are now three kings ready to take over from the queen when she dies. The Republicans who hope to get rid of the monarchy in the 21st century — it doesn't look like they're going to get their way."
Neil, who hosts four political shows a week on BBC television, is also chairman of the Spectator magazine and heads several media groups in Britain and the Mideast.
"The reason why this monarchy has survived for a thousand years is because it has changed with the times," he explained. "And when it doesn’t change with the times — as it looked like it wasn’t in the 1980s and 1990s — it's in jeopardy."
On at least one level he said he would have preferred to see a royal princess.
"In a way, it's a pity that the young prince isn't a princess because that would have just made clear this change in the law but male line of succession is gone now," Neil said. "That will never come back. And, in the 21st century, almost everybody thinks that's the right thing to do."
Prince William was born some 31 years ago on June 21, 1982 before the advent of 24-hour cable news outlets and social media, a reality that will become daily life for Baby Cambridge.
"It's a hugely different media environment now. Something like Newsmax didn't exist then, 24 hours didn't, there was no social media," Neil explained, noting the long wait by the media for the baby’s arrival amid sweltering London temperatures.
"I don't quite understand it, I'm a kind of small Republican myself or at least I have been, but you have to admit there is something quite magical about a royal birth that for some reason captures the imagination of people across the world," he said.
"America, is the land of celebrity and there are no bigger celebrities in the world than William and Kate. They’re a little bit more upmarket than the Kardashians, I'm told," he quipped. "There is an element of celebrity in it. It also brings a glamor and a history, continuity, a magic even into American life."
Neil said that the new prince also brings a common touch to the monarchy thanks to the Middleton family.
"In a thousand years of history, this is the first prince to be born whose great-grandfather was a coal miner. You haven’t heard that before," he observed, noting that the Duke of Cambridge is comfortable spending time with his in-laws.
"This is a modern, self-made, middle-class family that has come from nowhere and built up their business," he said of the Middletons, who own a successful online party supply business. "They are a very strong family. William gets on really well with them. He loves spending time . . . at the Middleton's home, getting away from the stuffy court and the palaces and everything else."
And the young prince will also enjoy the legacy of William’s mother, the late Princess Diana even after her untimely death.
"Diana herself had a modernizing effect on the British monarchy and you see that in William,” Neil explained. “William is very much the creation of Diana and, therefore, this young prince will be very much in the William-Diana — rather than the Charles line of things. But don’t underestimate the significance of the Middleton family either."
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