Even this far into the 21st century, republicans, nationalists and socialists all over the world still shake their heads in disbelief at the persistence of the myth of royalty … and nowhere is this more apparent than with the British House of Windsor.
Even in the former colonies, the awe and mystique still persists. So, we have no problem with commenting on the latest royal baby, born to Prince William and his wife, Kate.
The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge. The name Louis is a tribute to William’s great-granduncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was killed by an Irish Republican Army bomb in 1979 while sailing off the coast of Ireland.
In honouring Mountbatten, the young Royals are contributing to the persistence of a family – and a national memory.
At the same time, it is also a reminder of an awful time in British history – when Irish nationalism confronted Westminster head on – but also cause for giving thanks for the peace, which has held for more than 20 years.
Perhaps there is a lesson in there: Never forget. Honour those who sacrificed their lives to make South Africa a better place. But look to the new dawn of the future…