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Good Question: Why Are We So Fascinated By Royals?

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – At 4:24 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time, Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge – gave birth to a baby boy.

And while Americans even fought a war to make sure that little boy would never hold any power in the U.S., many Americans were excited to the follow this news.

For a week, hundreds of cameras crowded in front of the hospital. On Monday, millions of people watched the international breaking news.

Brit’s Pub patron Sophie Baldwin says she admires the Duchess.

“I think Kate Middleton is a good role model,” Baldwin said. “She’s beautiful, she’s really nice.”

According to the Pew Research Center, a quarter of Americans said they “very closely” or fairly closely” followed the Royal baby news. For people over 55, the numbers jumped to over one-third.

Ursula Walround, also at Brit’s Pub, says it’s fun to watch the progression of this fascinating family.

“Everyone, I think, needs something to look forward to. We looked forward to the new baby, we looked forward to the wedding,” Walround said. “It’ll be nice to see him grow up.”

Dr. John Watkins teaches British Studies at the University of Minnesota. He says the public’s fascination with the Royals has to do with privilege.

“This baby is going to be one of the great figures on the planet someday, one of the richest people alive,” he said. “Why? Because of the accident of his birth. That fascinates us because it is so different from the way we look at ourselves.”

He also says the fascination has to do with our cult of celebrity.

“The royal family moves somewhere in the structures of our brain in the same space that we give movie stars and star athletes,” he said. “It’s a wonderful fantasy.”

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