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Royal baby boy: The awe-inspiring unimportance of birth (+video)

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(Read caption) Prince William and Kate welcome a baby boy
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Much has been made about the birth of the so-called royal baby. He will be the new heir to the British throne, via the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. But as much has been made about it, there has probably been more made about how too much has been made about it.

To get properly meta: Here's the BBC's Royal correspondent Peter Hunt's statement about the crown's statement about the baby:

"The statement from Kensington Palace contains just 45 words. Such is the global fascination with this baby, those words will be translated into countless languages and endlessly repeated until fresh information is provided once the child has been born."

Even factoring in the (nominal) importance of the baby to the overall health of the still-robust British monarchy, itself a system of nominal importance, the event is not stunningly important. It's absolutely trivial. It's utterly ordinary. And, yet – as a microcosm for birth in general – it is of course totally momentous.


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