Congratulations, Granny Di!

Congrats to the Happy Grandma who is smiling from Heaven

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.

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About Wendy Murray

Wendy Murray is a veteran and award-winning journalist. She served as associate editor and Senior Writer at Christianity Today magazine and has written extensively for other publications such as Books & Culture and The Christian Century. She has written 11 books.

  • cindy

    There’s more to your feelings here. To paint all relationships with this brush and your diatribe is not considering all the connections God makes in our lives. I’m a step mom and while I never take my grandson’s biological grandmother;s place, I adore him as much as I will my biological grandchildren. I’m a Mimi (but have chose it only because it’s easy to say for kids, not b/c I don’t like grandma…I’ll be called that by all my grandbabies). As a divorced mom, my husband made a decision to walk away from our sons. I remarried a man who has taken on the mantle of dad to them and, although only around for the past 10 years, has made an indelible mark on their lives and monitored their progress like no other. We treat all of our children as OURS. So do many families. Your criticism is a little rough and doesn’t consider all the relationships and being that you don’t have personal insight into the lives of the royals is uneducated. Clearly you have some bias in your past. I’m just concerned for others who you may be shortchanging in their grandmotherly relationships.

    • Wendy Murray

      Dear Cindy, Thank you for your comment. I’m glad for you that your situation contradicts the assumptions of this post. It was driven by the turmoil I felt with news stories the cited Camilla as the child’s “grandparent,” especially because she stands so starkly at the center of the destruction of William’s parents’ divorce. This is wrong and it dishonors Diana’s memory.
      I do not disagree with your hint that there may be more to the emotion behind this post. There is more, you are right. And in this respect I would ask for your prayers, because these matters are so very personal and visceral. Thank you for reading and for posting a comment.


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