Now, after a torrid summer marred by natural tragedies, needless death, and devastating destruction, comes undiluted happy news. Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, has given birth to a prince. So, the first child of a commoner to be welcomed into the British royal family in modern times (Wallis Simpson tried to gatecrash in 1936 and was promptly asked to leave) has delivered an heir to extend the Windsors’ influence into the next generation.
Visiting Scotland this week to see Alex Salmond sworn in as first minister, the newspapers were full of talk about “independence lite”. The idea was that an independent Scotland would be free to choose as from a menu, selecting which issues to manage itself and which ones to pool with the rest of Britain.