In the Kingdom of Freedonia the populace continues their entirely unprompted and not at all media driven celebration of the birth of a new member of the royal family.
Freedonia, a liberal democracy ruled by a line of hereditary theocrats, received long awaited news on Monday when the national media, as part of their round the clock coverage of Archduchess Katarina’s pregnancy, announced the delivery of a baby boy. The as yet unnamed child is the third in line to the throne and destined to one day become the 43rd Monarch of the country. The royal birth is merely the latest in a recent series of events focussed around the royal family that provide much needed distraction for a nation still in painful economic recovery from a recession dating back to 2007, with a soaring national debt and over two and a half million unemployed, a million of them under the age of twenty five.
The newborn prince was delivered at an exclusive private hospital, Freedonia’s chronically underfunded National Health Service being deemed unacceptable for a pregnancy of such national importance. He can expect such exceptional care for his needs to continue throughout the rest of his life, with the provision of numerous servants, palaces, estates, the finest education available – again a private one, Freedonia’s state school system being typically deemed inappropriate for one of his family’s wealth and class – and when he comes of age his own army regiment.
Bizarrely, despite the seeming case of mass hysteria spreading through Freedonia’s national press, such enthusiasm appears lacking in the public. Whilst an obsessed minority have gathered near large impressive looking buildings in the capital to wave small flags and cheer, and another equally small minority but with radically different views on the monarchy has taken to the internet in a scrooge like series of organised whingeing, the vast majority seem to be largely apathetic, beyond expressing the same typical socially expected pleasantries they would whenever they hear that someone had given birth.
In other news, the birth comes at a convenient time for Freedonia’s scandal ridden coalition government which had been taking criticism from a number of directions due to a controversial and technological implausible plan to censor the internet, forcing all users to register with the government as part of a crackdown on ‘adult’ content. Particular confusion arose from the targeting of said crackdown, with the tendency for certain government supporting newspapers to publish softcore pornography within their pages and on their websites uncommented upon by the Prime Minister. Now, however, with the new prince occupying everyone’s attention it seems quite possible that all these problems will simply go away, or at least be ignored.
Photo: Jimmy Harris (Flickr)