While the new royal baby, George Alexander Louis, has an awful lot going for him--a mouthful of name, money and his pick of fabulous castles to call home--his new parents may need some parenting tips, and I'm not sure they have the best role models to turn to.
In case they want to swim outside the Royal Gene Pool for parenting help, I'd like to offer up these tips from my dad, who's been a parenting King for longer than I can remember!
1. Love unconditionally. Dad loves cars a lot. This was brought home to me when in the months following me getting my driver's license I hit everything in sight--and many things that were out of sight--poles, the garage, an MG convertible driven by a nasty man in a mustard-colored suit smoking a huge, smelly cigar. And as hard as it was to call Dad and tell him I'd hit something else, it was never because I thought he'd stop loving me. Keep this in mind when little George throws the royal crest, just to see if it will break or teenage George plows the Rolls into the side of the palace.
2. Have a sense of humor. (see above!)
3. Step outside the castle every now and again. Develop your own interests. It will make you more interesting to your child--and others. Daddy flies planes ...
(even landing them in the occasional corn field)
and rides motorcycles--sometimes with Mom strapped to the back.
4. Sing. I grew up with country music coming out of the radio and out of my dad's mouth--which of course I hated. But now, I wouldn't trade the sound of my dad's singing voice in my head for anything. And, while I don't sing so much, I do love music and play in a band.
5. Plan to keep on parenting long after the prince is grown. Don't get too busy being king and queen to check in on your prince--and whoever else might come along. Kids never stop needing their parents.
6. Stay married if you can. I am grateful every day that my parents are still married to each other and still live in the house I grew up in. Buck recent royal family tradition and try to stick it out for the long haul.
Finally, Kate and Will, if you need a few more tips, check out these things my Dad taught me over the years. Things that continue to be important to this day. Congratulations on the new little prince! Try to raise him right!
And Happy Birthday, Dad--a prince of parenting!