My five-year-old had a 'street party' today at school in honour of Friday's royal nuptials. The whole affair seems to have caught his imagination, and he's suddenly become a font of all knowledge on the royal family. (Kate, it transpires, is not really a real Princess, but 'some random' person who will only becomes a Princess when the marriage is completed.)
Personally I'm completely indifferent to the big day - I wish the happy couple all the best, but I have no particular desire to know more or wave flags - and this probably reflects my own views on our royal family; I'm neither a royalist or republican because, really, I don't care enough either way. I guess my wife feels similarly (though to be honest neither of us has ever been motivated enough to discuss the subject, so perhaps she does feel strongly one way or the other).
So it's some surprise to us that Lucas is suddenly so excited and interested, and a little unsettling; do I really want him becoming aware of the existence of Prince Charles, Kate and Wills and Harry, as they're all so slightly ridiculous? Obviously, his enjoyment/enthusiasm is his cultural birthright as much as my indifference is mine and perhaps this is what is really unsettling. If parenting is all about accepting your kid's long walk away from you, then this seems like a milestone along the way. It is possibly the first time we've become aware that he is autonomously absorbing a cultural moment without any mediation from us, and we can't tell him what to think or how to react to it. Which seems a bit weird.