Lasha Morningstar

WE ARE ONE

June 1, 2015

I once wondered why my mother kept a scrapbook of photos of the royal family. She would cut out the candid and posed shots from newspapers and magazines and paste them in big, blue scrapbooks.

The scrapbooks were for her eyes and hands only. But I would catch glimpses of the pages when she would sit at the library table in the living room, gluepot and scissors at the ready, leafing through The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Life Magazine.

Why was she so fascinated by these people? But her temper was always ready to erupt and my brother and I knew that silence and keeping out of her way meant we avoided whacks from the wooden spoon.

But now I know. I think I have become - like her - a royal watcher. It's only recently that I have clicked my computer mouse on stories about William and Kate, their children and yes Lupo, their cocker spaniel.

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, appear with their newborn son George in London in July 2013.

CNS PHOTO | ANDREW WINNING, REUTERS

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, appear with their newborn son George in London in July 2013.

There was a reason for my previous disdainful distance. Working in the secular press years ago, I still remember that night when I sat in the newsroom and heard the first reports about the car crash that killed Princess Diana. My heart sank. She did so many good works and loved her dear sons with an unbridled passion.

Stories about her alleged loveless marriage made me cringe. I tuned the marital tragedy out.

Still, I remember holding out hope she was only injured until stories confirming her death dashed across my computer screen.

ROSY-CHEEKED PRINCE

Now I call up photos of rosy-cheeked Prince George and feel a smile spread over my face.

My confession continues.

Yes, I hoped the new wee Princess Charlotte would bare Diana's name and she does.

Digging into my feelings a bit further, I realize I enjoy seeing the young couple together. Even the candid snaps capture the fact William and Kate like and love each other. Their commitment to their marriage and to keeping the world's money-hungry paparazzi at bay gives me hope their marriage and family can flourish and thrive, despite their demanding lives.

A BLOOMING RELIEF

Also, stories about the royal family's positive life are a relief.

Sadly, we live in a society inundated with negativity. Murders. Earthquakes. Layoffs. On and on the sad litany goes.

Of course, we should know about such events. But sometimes the news becomes so overwhelming, one is left with a feeling of helplessness, a feeling that despite one's best efforts, one has no control over his or her own life.

ALWAYS SCRUTINIZED

William and Kate, in spite of their wealth and privileged position, no doubt have their ups and downs. Every relationship does. The pressure to be always scrutinized, to always say and do the right thing when performing their royal duties, to follow the unwritten rules and demands of the royal hierarchy, must be immense.

Yet this couple is creating its own family life that meets their dreams and needs. Remember too, they had the gift and advantage of knowing each other in their school - the University of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland - for years, becoming friends well before they were married. They are also close in age - William, 32, and Kate, 33.

PLANNING NUMBER 3?

Already there are rumours, allegedly from a relative, that they are planning to have another child. As well, they have issued a warning to photographers using telephoto lenses to not invade their privacy at their Anmer Hall home.

As you can see, I have become a royal watcher. But I am not pasting their photos in a scrapbook.

I will however, enjoy stories and photos of William's and Kate's lives as their children grow, as their love deepens.

Is this a vicarious act? Not really.

I do it and will do it because I need a balance to the swirling sadness that permeates today's media. And young Prince George is too sweet for words.

(Lasha Morningstar lasha@wcr.ab.ca)