The birth of a child anywhere is usually cause for joyous celebration. But when that child is third in line to the royal throne, well, the word celebration hardly covers it.
That is especially true in the United Kingdom. For all of their supposed reserve, the British seem to really cut loose when there is good news about the royal family.
The latest cause for unbridled joy in Great Britain is that Prince William and Kate, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, have become parents of a bouncing baby boy, an heir to the monarchy. Progeny are always a good thing in their family business.
Engagements, weddings and, of course, additions to the royal bloodline are cause for all manner of jubilation and near hysteria in England and its environs.
Among other things, fireworks, the chiming of church bells and cannonades from the military marked the little fellow's arrival in the country that he may someday lead.
It is difficult for many of us in the United States to comprehend the delirium caused by a royal birth because we simply have nothing comparable. We abandoned that way of operating more than 200 years ago and haven't looked back since. We have no modern tradition in royalty.
Still, many in this country pay mighty close attention to the actions and events involving the royal family, even the ones that are not nearly so positive.
Newspaper front pages, news websites and television news broadcasts in this country are replete with coverage of the royal birth. But in Great Britain the game is elevated exponentially as each media outlet seemingly tries to outdo all the others in a bid to provide the most elaborate coverage. From this distance, it looks as if everyone is tied for first place.
But the British are not alone.
Clearly, this is a story of interest far beyond the British Isles and, judging from the number of reporters from all over the globe camped out at the hospital, the world has been watching and fawning over the latest potential king-to-be as well.
To fully grasp the level of frenzy, one need only witness the crush of photographers and videocamera operators when the baby, George Alexander Louis, left St. Mary's Hospital in London on Tuesday.
Then, of course, there was Queen Elizabeth's visit to her great-grandson, not to mention William and Kate's trek to see her parents to show them their new grandchild.
We were even breathlessly told that Prince William had changed his first diaper.
Yes, it is a happy day for our good friends in Great Britain. We congratulate them and salute their good fortune. Hail Britannia.