What Congress Can Learn From the Royal Family

If the Windsors can recreate themselves, so can Congress.

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Britain's Prince William, left, his wife Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge, center, and Prince Harry, right, watch the show-jumping phase of the equestrian eventing competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at Greenwich Park in London.

The reason I maintain hope that members of Congress can and will one day find a way to get along is that after years of finding virtually nothing redeeming about the British royal family, I am starting to actually like them.

True, I found them irritating, stuffy and anachronistic for most of the last few decades. The arrivals of Princess Diana and Duchess Fergie of York lightened things up a bit, but after Fergie and Andrew divorced, and after Diana died – something I always felt was partly due to the demands put on her by both the press and the family itself – the Windsors became their old, outdated selves. But in the past couple of years, they've become surprisingly nice to have around in the public domain.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the European debt crisis.]

Prince Charles, now married to the woman he has really loved (and loved during his marriage to Diana) has settled into a role that is not only dignified but socially relevant, drawing attention to global warming. His sons have both turned out well. Prince Harry, it was recently revealed in a book by a fellow soldier, defended a military colleague who was being threatened by the others for being gay. Prince William married a lovely and charming woman, and the two appear to be genuinely in love as they begin their new lives as parents. And even the queen – who seemed to show no emotion at all when her former daughter-in-law was chased by paparazzi and killed in a Paris car crash – has been a real sport, appearing in a James Bond-themed video to open the Olympics in Britain last year.

William and Princess Catherine have welcomed a son, but it's worth noting that the couple had announced that for the first time in history, the child would have been next in line for succession to the crown even if it had been a girl.

The whole matter of a royal family and the costs associated with keeping them up is surely a legitimate question. But the British family is doing a good job of making the argument that they should be kept around. If the Windsors can recreate themselves, so can Congress.

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  • Corrected 7/23/13: This post originally misspelled the name of Princess Catherine.