The world is aflutter with the glorious news that Will and Kate have had a baby. Thank you, God! Life is blooming in a happy way for dear William, whose head hung low as young man of 15 when he and his brother buried his mother.
Now, in the wake of this happy event, may the public, royal watchers, the news agencies and related entities please get this straight: Charles and Camilla are not the new baby’s “grandparents.” Charles is the baby’s grandfather and Diana is the baby’s grandmother. Camilla is the wife of the grandfather. I suggest that perhaps the newborn His Royal Highness call her Cammy or LiLi. But whatever he calls her, it should not ever be “Grandma.”
Except in the unusual circumstance when a child loses a mother and the father remarries the woman who will raise him/her, any child who comes into this world is born with only two grandmothers: the mother of his/her mother and the mother of his/her father. In the unfortunate case of a divorce, such as is the case with Charles and Diana (and, sadly, my own), nothing changes those categories. On behalf of the doomed Diana I hold forth her claim as the rightful “grandma” against the tide of an ambiguous press that, in some instances, has wrongly rendered Camilla the privilege. That mantle belongs to the princes’ mother alone. She raised those boys. They were hers. Nothing changes that simply because Camilla usurped Diana’s role in Charles’s life.
Even watching the royal wedding, I felt saddened that Camilla claimed the ignominy of standing on the balcony with the happy couple, all smiles and waving, as if she had earned to the right to claim this moment. For William it was obvious his union with his new bride carried utmost happiness. At the same, it surely held hidden sorrow, no doubt wishing his mother could have been the one standing with them, waving and smiling.
I commend the royal couple for their conviviality about Camilla’s ambiguous position. But a grandmother is a grandmother. Grandmothers earn that mantle and simply because another woman happens to be married to the grandfather does not render her that privilege. Dead or alive, that royal child has only two grandmothers, in this case, one who is alive in Berkshire and one who is alive in heaven.
In the meantime Camilla should let Charles bask in the glories of being a grandfather and give the royal couple the honor due them and due William’s mother, respecting her memory and her place as the “grandmother.” Diana is the one who gave William life and raised him and conferred to him the humanity and authenticity he sincerely exudes. There is no doubt William thinks of Diana during this, and all, defining moments of his adult life. And no doubt, there is still a corner of his heart that remains broken, longing for his dear lost mother, may she rest in peace.