Sunday June 18, 2000

                                                    Happy birthday, William Windsor. From
                                                    Wednesday, what you do with your life is
                                                    for you to decide. At least it should be.
                                                    But, unlike any other 18 year old, your
                                                    future has already been chosen by your
                                                    genes. The son of a plumber or a brain
                                                    surgeon does not reach maturity knowing
                                                    that his only destiny is to be a plumber or
                                                    a brain surgeon. Your life is not your own.

                                                    The future will be more than comfortable,
                                                    of course, but think ahead to the endless
                                                    tours of places that bore you, where you
                                                    will be compelled to pretend to enjoy
                                                    meeting people who do not interest you.
                                                    Every detail of your personal life will be
                                                    distorted and demeaned by a rapacious
                                                    and salacious media which will treat you
                                                    as a hero until they decide it is time to
                                                    make you a villain.

                                                    Ahead of you stretch decades of
                                                    time-filling until the day finally comes -
                                                    and it may not arrive until you are a
                                                    balding 60 year old - when the position
                                                    decided for you by birth becomes vacant.
                                                    And - who can tell? - you might get to the
                                                    year 2042 only to find that you wasted
                                                    yourself waiting for a job that has been

                                                    Is this really the life you want? The life
                                                    that killed your mother and has driven
                                                    your father half-mad. Say you won't do it.
                                                    Abdicate the throne and renounce the
                                                    crown before they imprison you. Take it
                                                    back from history. Make it your own life.
                                                    You will have come of age, and you might
                                          help your country to grow up as well.
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