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Canada to Celebrate a New Member of Our Royal Family

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The Monarchist League of Canada joins the nation, the Commonwealth and the world in anticipating the birth of a second child to the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. When the baby is born, many of us will want to send our congratulations and affectionate good wishes to William and Catherine.

If you want to send a card of congratulations to the proud parents, you can address your greetings as follows:

Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Clarence House
London SW1A 1BA
United Kingdom

There is no need to use elaborate forms of address within your card — the salutation can be Your Royal Highnesses or simply Dear William and Catherine. Be sure to take your card to a Canada Post outlet to ensure it bears correct postage for the size and weight.

Given the realities of modern security requirements, the outward-focused approach of the parents and the personal nature of the items, lovingly-knitted baby clothing and similar gifts are neither needed nor probably ever seen by the Cambridges.

A much better idea is to make a gift to a local children’s charity or women’s shelter and then write William and Kate to let them know that you did this in their honour. They will really appreciate it.

The League is also suggesting that everyone consider holding a Canadian Royal Baby Shower sometime during this spring/summer — a simple inclusive neighbourhood celebration, with guests raising a glass, giving a few dollars to a charity and signing a card.

Some Suggestions for your Canadian Royal Baby Shower

Above all, keep it simple. The object is to enjoy a Canadian-focused spring/summer celebration, so how about iced tea/coffee (along with some maple syrup for sweetening!) and pop for the kids, held in your garden, living room or balcony — No need for fancy cakes — how about those maple-shaped cookies we all grew up with? Use paper plates, glasses and napkins. Choose an hour or two on a Saturday, or a Sunday afternoon for the Shower. Invite friends and slip an invitation into neighbours’ mailboxes or slots on your block — extend the Monarch's spirit of inclusiveness in what is a universally-happy event. Tell everyone to come casual: it's spring/summer, not the time for fancy dress or exciters (which would scare most babies we know!)

Explain that physical gifts are not being solicited for this shower — as they would not be seen or used by the Royals. If someone has such objects, local charities such as a women’s shelter might welcome them. Let folks know that there will be a card to sign and a bowl/container to put their donation in — give them the name of the charity in advance in case they want to write a cheque and receive a tax receipt. If you have an artistic child, neighbour or friend, perhaps one of them could make the card. So could a talented teenage computer expert! One of them could be in charge of the container, with a supply of envelopes just in case guests need one for their gift. If everyone slips cash or cheque into an envelope on which their name is written, it makes a draw for a door prize easy! If you have an old baby crib or pram, perhaps it could be decorated to hold the bowl.

There is no need to use elaborate forms of address within your card — the salutation can be Your Royal Highnesses or simply Dear William and Catherine — then tell them that as members and friends of the League you held a shower in honour of their baby, with proceeds going to X organization, and sending your love and best wishes. — just as you might to a member of your own family. Then everyone can sign. The address appears above on this special page.

Some music in the background is a great help during the moments of the first guests’ arrival, especially if you are inviting strangers. A banner, easily designed and inexpensively available at your local copy shop, can add presence and identification to the event.

The League can

  • provide you with a door prize — just email us the details at domsec@monarchist.ca;
  • notify League members in your area if you ask us to do so to supplement your own neighbourhood and friend invitations; and/or
  • post event details on our website, of course only with your specific permission.

Some Suggestions for Appropriate Charities

  • The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (the Canadian charity chosen at the time of the Royal Wedding):

    47 Riverview
    Gatineau, QC  J9H 4S7
    volunteers saving lives on the water

  • Ronald McDonald Charities Canada: support and homelike settings where families of hospitalized children can stay, receive support and re-charge their batteries:

    1 McDonald’s Place
    Toronto, ON  M3C 3L4

  • The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada: provides fulfilment of special wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, together with their families:

    350-1101 Kingston Rd
    Pickering, ON  L1V 1B5

FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ROYAL BIRTH

1) What is the significance of the birth of the Royal baby?

First, of course, it brings joy to William and Catharine and their families, just as a birth does in our own family circles. What is different, and both a delight and a responsibility to the parents, is that they share the excitement - and the child - with the entire Commonwealth and world, because everyone feels so excited and happy for them.

Second, it’s worth reflecting that the baby will one day be second in line to become King/Queen of Canada after his/her brother George. We know the identity of our next three monarchs: Charles, William and George - and soon George will have a brother/sister who will play that unique supportive role as Harry does so well for William. All of this makes for a pretty impressive piece of stability in a world full of change, the excitement of the new even while we reflect that most Canadians alive today have lived only during the reign of our present Queen.

2) If the Cambridges have a baby girl, could the court challenge mounted to the Succession Act bump this baby down the list of succession if later William and Kate had another boy?

Most folk today are full of happiness at the impending birth and not getting entangled in the sort of hypothetical questions that make lawyers rich. The Commonwealth Realms, led by Canada which was the first country to complete the process, have all joined in creating a gender-blind succession to the Throne. This is in line with Canadian values, where we value equally the role and status of women and men.

Anyone can launch a court challenge; but especially in such matters, as have been shown in recent appellate court rulings upholding the Oath of Allegiance to The Queen for our fellow citizens, such cases don’t tend to be successful. And even if one was, the debate is only about the legal process, not the gender-blindness everyone agrees with. Thanks to three male first-borns in the Royal Family (Charles, William and George) Canada knows the identity of our next three monarchs, and has decades to tweak any legislation long before this child could become close to acceding to the Throne.

3) What name will be given the baby? Would "Diana" be appropriate for a girl?

If we knew, the London betting shops would have our business! It’s fun to speculate, but we have no "inside" information.

Seriously, the choice of name is the same as in our own families: the two parents will decide with advice - sought and unsought - from their family members. William and Catherine will have the weight of history as another consideration. But they have also the advantage of a tradition whereby Royal babies often have three or four Christian names so that respect can be paid to a number of their forebears. Charles, the proud grandfather of this child, was christened Charles Philip Arthur George. William was christened William Arthur Philip Louis.

Diana was a loving parent who gave her sons a contemporary perspective on the world outside of the bubble of royalty, one which has proved so valuable in making William and Harry such giving and unpretentious young men; so it would be altogether fitting that her memory be perpetuated within the family, and it would not be surprising if her name was included in that of the newborn. The same is of course true of Elizabeth.

4) Do you think William and Kate will bring their two young children when they next come home to Canada?

It’s certainly possible. We all saw how George was a star in Australia and New Zealand - he certainly ruled the play area! Canadians would be thrilled to meet both the Cambridges’ children, so beginning of a life-long bond with our future Sovereign and his brother/sister.

5) How can Canadians celebrate the baby’s birth? Can we buy/knit some clothing and send it to the Palace?

Lovingly-knitted baby clothing and similar gifts are neither needed and probably never seen by the Royals, given the realities of modern security requirements and the personal nature of the items.

A much better idea is to make a gift to a local children’s charity or women’s shelter and then write Catherine and William to let them know you did this in their honour. They will really appreciate it.

The League is also suggesting a similar approach with a Canadian Royal Baby Wedding Shower - a neighbourhood celebration with guests raising a glass, giving a few dollars to a charity and signing a card. The details, along with information as to how to write William and Kate, can be found above on this special page.

6) How do you think Canadians who oppose the Monarchy will think of the birth?

You’d have to have a stony heart not to feel happy for the parents of any newborn, especially a child surrounded with such love and excitement. The anticipated birth of this child is not really the moment to debate the Monarchy. It’s a time to celebrate something most people share - sheer happiness at the most common element of our humanity: the birth of a child and the beginning of a new generation.

7) Apart from sending greetings to William and Catherine and holding Royal Baby showers for charity as recommended by the League, what else should Canada and Canadians be doing to mark the birth of our future Monarch?

We can all suggest that our own town or city name a park, a street in a new subdivision or other local landmark in honour of the Royal Baby. On a larger scale, one might urge the provincial or federal government via your elected members to consider so naming a lake, a mountain or similar natural feature, to mark our own excitement and pass down to future generations a part of the tapestry of continuity and history of our times. On a practical level, any good work done in the name of William, Catherine and their child reflects the parents' and the Monarchy's commitment to service - be that volunteering at your local soup kitchen, delivering some cookies to a shelter or visiting residents who no longer have families at a local seniors' home.

8) What do you think of Margaret Atwood criticizing Kate’s fashion style as "uneventful."

We really don’t think anything, except that we doubt Kate is losing much sleep over it. Margaret might like to stick to writing novels; Kate is carrying out Royal duties and raising her children. We hope that in the real world of 2015 most people don't judge a woman by the clothes she wears.

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