22 Jul, 13 | by Iain Brassington
I know, I know. I keep banging on about the irrelevance of genetics when it comes to families – about why parenthood isn’t a genetic thing. But, actually, now I think about it – Duchess of Cambridge blah blah baby blah… I wonder what, if any, constitutional implications there’d be if the heir to the throne were infertile and adopted?
Yeah, I know that it’s doubtless happened before without anyone knowing – but just suppose that the new third in line to the throne were, say, an adopted Cambodian orphan instead of a (close) genetic relation to William and Kate. I can’t think of any moral objection to that being a barrier to succession. A child raised in those circumstances would, I think, have just as much right to ascend as would a child related by blood; there’s no reason to suppose that he or she wouldn’t be a part of the family in the fullest sense.
Unless, of course, we think that the word “family” in “Royal family” doesn’t mean quite the same as the word “family” in other contexts. But then, what would it mean? Why would genes be important in this circumstance?
And just suppose that the people of late mediaeval and early modern England had had the same obsessions about genes. That’s something that’s been keeping the Abstruse Goose awake.
Readably big version here.
UPDATE: OK, that’s odd. The site on which the cartoon appears is currently listed as a virus threat. I have no idea why.
UPDATE 2: Hmmm. Seems to work on my home computer. It might just be the UoM servers being twitchy, then. Oh, I don’t know.