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Congratulations to the Duchess of Cambridge on bringing a new life into the world. Well done to the health service, to the midwives and to all the staff involved in making sure the process went without a hitch.

In the past (my teenage years to be exact) I was a republican. It wasn’t for any interesting reason, just rebellion for rebellion’s sake. I slowly began to drift towards monarchism in my twenties and I occupy that position to this day.

The Royal family is a valuable constant in a world of chaotic evolution. It stays the same, even as the world changes out of recognition, a cryogenically frozen piece of ancient history.

And let there be no doubt, Britain has changed greatly over the last fifty years and will continue to do so, eventually presenting the royals with extreme challenges. The idea of a King or Queen as ‘guardian of the faith’ will struggle to last in a multiculturalised domain. The subjects presided over by the future monarchs will not resemble those of the past.

If I am permitted to ask such a gloomy question on this bright occasion – By the time the new Princess turns 40, will Britain be Britain at all, or just the site where Britain once stood?