Neil Horner’s subject of population explosion (Horner’s Corner, The NEWS, July 18) made me think.
Yet he may be surprised that my thoughts focussed on King Farouk of Egypt, who, when deposed in 1952, declared somewhat ruefully: “In the end there will only be five kings left — the King of England, the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, the King of Hearts and the King of Diamonds.”
Judging from the insane amount of international media attention now focussed on the birth of a future monarch in England, it seems Farouk was right on the money.
If truth be told, neither Queen Elizabeth II nor any of her progeny would have graced the pages of magazines and tabloids worldwide for the past 60 years had it not been for Wallis Simpson.
Mrs. Simpson changed the course of history in the Windsor household, by being the reason her lover King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936. When Duchess Kate gives birth, she will no doubt be granted the title of “Princess Kate” for the fruits of her labour (pun intended). Seems a shame the title “Princess Wallis” was never bestowed; the present Windsors owe her so much, if not everything, for damned sure.
When King Edward abdicated in 1936 the world’s population was just over two billion; by the time of King Farouk’s ouster in 1952 it was up to almost three billion; at Y2K we had just passed six billion. Yet at the year 1000, population stood at 275 million, and 350 years after that 75 million were wiped out by the Black Death. The first billion marker came a mere 200 years ago; yet last year we topped seven billion.
Huge advances in sanitation, clean water supply, medicines, vaccines, antibiotics, and nutrition allowed the population spiral over the past two centuries. Considering all these quite intriguing numbers, don’t you wonder why so much fuss is being made over one baby in far away London, England, eh?