London’s most senior diplomat has described the birth of Prince George, Britain’s third in line to the throne, as a “joyful occasion”.
Speaking on behalf of the diplomatic corps, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Ambassador of Kuwait Khaled Al Duwaisan said: “On this joyful occasion, I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of my colleagues to convey to the Royal Family our sincere congratulations and best wishes on the birth of the newly born Prince. May he have a healthy, happy and prosperous life.”
Diplomatic missions from the 15 Realm nations, who have the Queen as head of state, took special pleasure in the birth of their future head of state.
The High Commissioner for New Zealand The Rt Hon Sir Lockwood Smith congratulated the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, saying the couple would make great parents. “I wish them all the best and will be thinking of them over the coming weeks while they get to know their little boy.”
The High Commissioner said Royal celebrations helped boost diplomatic ties in Realm nations. “The strong connections New Zealand retains with the UK, particularly through our shared Monarchy, are just so special.”
The fact that the Royal baby is a boy has taken some of the urgency out of constitutional changes necessary in some Realm countries to ensure that a first-born Royal, boy or girl, can inherit the throne.
Realm countries agreed in October 2011 to end the primogeniture rule, but this has met with difficulties in some countries, such as Canada and Australia, where changing the constitution is complex and would take time.
The Royal birth has also raised questions over the role of the Monarchy in the Commonwealth. High Commissioner Lockwood Smith said the Royal Family “does a fantastic job” at connecting the Commonwealth.
While the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma said the worldwide Commonwealth family “took joy” in the birth of Prince George, it is not clear whether he would head the organisation in the future.
The Queen’s position as head of the Commonwealth was secured by the London Declaration of 1949, but this does not automatically extend to her successors. That would be up to the leaders of the 54 nations to decide. The Royal birth may prompt discussions to change the rules to allow this at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November. But as an organisation that champions democracy, not all members may be in favour.