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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Need for an American Royal Highness

The American hysteria over the royal family of England is fueled by never-ending media hype, and it seems people in the United States are once again gaga over all things related to the monarchy. The latest? The big news is the birth of George Alexander Louis, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, the newborn son of Prince William and Catherine.

George is third in line, behind Charles and William, to the British throne. This means that as well as ruling the United Kingdom, George Alexander Louis could one day be king of 15 other commonwealth countries that have the British monarch as head of state if none change their constitution in the meantime. They include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belize and Jamaica.

Social media and network news are abuzz with His Royal Highness news. On one day alone -- Monday, July 22 -- there were more than 19 million Facebook interactions related to the royal baby, according to the site.

Since the American public is so hot for the royals, businesses are cashing in on the frenzy. They are offering expensive, trendsetter products to the public such as "the royal car seat," "the prince's blanket," and Catherine's "royal shawl."

Why are so many Americans obsessed with the royal family? Perhaps, they long for all the trappings of a Camelot kingdom where rich kings and queens reign as princes and princesses practice social graces and courtly romance. But, according to a report in The Independent ("The Regal Republic: Why are Americans obsessed with the Royal family?" April 25 2011), the answer is more related to Hollywood than to London...

"The obvious answer is our age's obsession with celebrity. The royals are the ultimate celebrities. They did nothing to earn it, they were born with it – which of course only makes celebrity even more potent. They are the supreme curiosity, famous because they are famous. In the giant Disneyland that Britain is for many Americans, the Royal Family is exhibit A."

And, when Americans think royalty, they still think Diana. Her own marriage in 1981, its tumultuous aftermath and then her death, transfixed them. Now the first-born son who looks so like his mother is married and having a child. Diana was never to be Queen; but in William and his son, the future kings, her destiny is to be fulfilled. This could well be the real story line.

Why Not an American Royal Family?

Why look to Britain for royalty? I propose that America should establish its own line of royalty to satisfy its aristocratic obsession. How? Although President George Washington was never actually offered the crown of America, no doubt he could have had almost anything he wanted: control of the government after the war, the right to spell out a new form of government as the commander of the army, and probably the right to lifetime leadership in some fashion in one fashion or another.

I think America should establish the Washingtons as the royal line. Imagine the pomp and circumstance of a coronation in the District of Columbia. The fanfare would be spectacular, and the event would herald a new era of tradition and jubilation. It would not only satisfy the need for royal attachment but also feed the coffers of capitalists quick to endorse the American kingly bloodline.

Here is Washington's genealogy:

How about George Washington's descendants?  Well, there is group titled the National Society of the Washington Family Descendants complete with the following membership information:

"Eligibility for membership in the Society is open to persons who can prove their lawful lineal descent from one of the following ancestors of General George Washington who lived in Colonial America between 1607 and 1732:

"Colonel John Washington, Nathaniel Pope, Nicholas Martiau, George Reade, Augustine Warner, Sr., Colonel William Ball, and Mary Johnson Ball Hewes.

"The aforesaid membership shall also be open to the lawful lineal descendants of Lawrence Washington, the brother of Colonel John Washington the immigrant."

Who Would Be King of America?

A genealogy site says it has found the descendant of George Washington's family who would have most likely held the title of "king" if the residents of the Thirteen Colonies had made George Washington king following the end of the American Revolution,

It is quite possible that Paul Emory Washington would today occupy the throne of the American empire. Paul, 87 (assuming he is still alive), of San Antonio, is the one among 8,000 possible Washington descendants that the chief family historian at believes would currently hold the crown — had there been one.

"He kind of won the sweepstakes," said Megan Smolenyak, with the genealogical research group.
"George Washington had no children. He had an older half brother, Augustine, and a younger brother, Samuel. Many descendants died young or as lifelong bachelors. Other Washington descendants had only daughters," Smolenyak said.

Smolenyak ran four family lines to account for the two brothers and lines of succession with and without women inheriting the crown. She found that against improbable odds, two of the four lines led to Paul Washington.

Paul's family, which includes three sons and one daughter, are fifth-generation descendants of George's oldest brother, Samuel. But Paul would've been the ninth or tenth king of America depending on which of the lines you follow. "A guy would get the crown and then live forever, or have no children, or just have a girl and that would send the crown careening across the family tree," Smolenyak says.

What has the king been doing all his long life? Well, for 40 years, Paul Emory Washington worked for the Certain-Teed Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of wholesale building materials headquartered, appropriately enough, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where General Washington and his rag-tag army bivouacked in the difficult winter of 1778-79.

Paul's son, Bill, said his father now spends his days caring for his wife, who has Alzheimer's disease. He said his father is honored but completely unpretentious about his would-be crown.

Paul says he would just as soon not think about being king. "I doubt if I'd be a very good king," he says. "We've done so well as a country without a king, so I think George made the best decision."

(Kurt Soller, "The Man Who Would Be King," Newsweek, October 7 2008) 

King Paul in chair.

Let's Crown King Paul

It's never too late for a good, profitable idea. I say we honor this San Antonio family as the true American Royalty. Let's give Mr. Washington the title of His Royal Highness King Paul of Texas. And let's get on with the gala First Coronation. The move to become the Royal United States of America is potentially good for us all. It's noble; it's visionary; it's fantasy and history at its best.

Surely the country would be fixed to their televisions for the festivities and later addicted to following all the exploits of King Paul and his family. The royal Americans would also serve as stable figureheads for a government that elects a new, largely inefficient and strictly partisan president every four years. An acknowledged royal family is sure to bring stability and stature into these bleak times, not to mention being the subject of countless human interest reports.

And, just imagine the construction of a royal palace and grounds in the District of Columbia, an area already aptly named after Father George. What a beautiful tourist attraction! Every starry-eyed little princess and prince in the nation would be clamoring to take a trip to D.C. to admire the grandeur. I love Elvis, but this attraction would make Graceland, the home of the King of Rock and Roll, look like small potatoes.

I can even envision a large theme park there -- King Georgeland -- with rides, a water park, live music, and historical presentations. That facility would be sure to draw other profitable royal-themed projects, too. Pardon the pun, but there is "a king's ransom" to be had. All of this fortune is dependent on the placement of one red-white-and blue crown.

And, the sweetest part of the whole idea is that the Washington royals will not really "rule"; instead, they will just "play" their parts. Their magical, stately majesty can be orchestrated and produced by the likes of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, and Disney. This added rainbow of imagination is sure to charge the lately limp American imagination.

So, good readers, why not push your congress person to legislate the needed changes? It's time Americans stop their silly adoration of English royals and begin a new imperial fixation sure to preoccupy their sovereign minds. The King is dead. Long live King Paul and his kin!

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