Happy Labor Day. I woke up this morning to the news that Prince William and Kate Middleton announced that they’re expecting their third child next year. Joyful news, and I think a signal for both Britain and the European continent: thriving societies have thriving families.
Why am I even commenting on this? I remember a few months ago reading somewhere that some group was calling for the Royal couple to commit to having no further children, allegedly on environmentalist grounds. Indeed: William and Kate’s third child is far outside the norm in today’s Europe:
Emmanuel Macron founded a new party, and his election as France’s president is said to herald the “revival of Europe.” Interestingly, Macron has no children.
This is not that notable in itself. After all, George Washington had no biological children. But across the continent Macron wants to bind closer together, there’s a stark pattern:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also has no children. British prime minister Theresa May has no children. Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni has no children. Holland’s Mark Rutte has no children. Sweden’s Stefan Löfven has no biological children. Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel has no children. Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon has no children. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, has no children.
This is too remarkable to ignore. While Macron is young—39 years old—the rest of Europe is being governed by childless Baby Boomers.
It’s worth celebrating a different sort of Labor Day, I think.