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Helmut Schmidt, Published July 22 2013

Fargo's British contingent 'absolutely delighted' with newest little prince

FARGO – If you ask Kathryn Leonard, it’s time to break out the best china and tea service.

After all, Britain’s newest little prince is here.

The birth of an 8 pound 6 ounce boy Monday to Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William had Leonard glued to “the telly” as she bided time in Granite City.

“Good news!” Leonard said as word of the birth spread from London’s St. Mary’s Hospital. “I’m absolutely delighted!”

The former Kate Middleton deserves special kudos, the Fargo woman said.

“She’s quite charming. She comes from a very warm, loving family. The royal family needs to have that introduced into their echelon,” Leonard said.

“I think that this generation will bring the royal family back into popularity. There was a bit of a lapse in the liking of the royals,” she said.

The baby may also mean a little extra partying at the next meeting of the Fargo-Moorhead area’s British Club, she said.

“I’m sure we’ll have a tea party. It will be an excuse for us to get our best china and our tea service out,” Leonard said. “We’ll have a celebration tea, I’m sure. … and maybe a glass of wine. It all depends.”

Counting on Kate

Hazel Meidlinger of Fargo was also keeping her eye on the festivities on the other side of the Atlantic.

“That makes me very happy,” she said.

But like several British Club members, the 81-year-old wishes the child had been a girl, because the law governing succession was changed to allow the firstborn, boy or girl, to be next in line for the throne.

She, too, counts on Kate being a mom in the mold of Princess Diana.

“I think she’ll be raising it a little different from some of the royalty in the past,” Meidlinger said. “I think she’ll be a hands-on mother. Kind of like Princess Diana was.”

‘This is a cheery thing’

Dr. Joy Query heard the news while at the grocery store.

“In a mild sort of way. I’m pleased that he’s healthy and born safely,” she said.

Query, 80, of Fargo, said the birth should boost the monarchy and add a little color in a drab economy.

“This is a cheery thing,” she said.

Query, who is retired from teaching at North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota, has lived in North Dakota for 47 years, but she still loves her homeland.

She said the end-of-summer meeting of the British Club will be happy.

“I think we shall toast the baby in September,” Query said. “I think on the whole, one could say that we shall be happy.”

A new generation

Adrienne Hill, who lives in south Fargo, hails from Plymouth, Devon, England, with her husband, Steve, and three children.

The family was in Canada when they found out the news.

“We will be toasting this new addition to the royal family,” the 47-year-old said by email.

Hill has checked The (London) Sun newspaper’s website daily for updates, and on Monday used Facebook to share word of the birth.

“I think they will be fabulous parents. Very young and modern. Also because Lady Diana was such a great mum to her two boys. She kept them protected and very grounded. I think we now have a modern new generation of future kings to be proud of,” Hill wrote.

Raising a private toast

“That’s a good size. That’s a manageable size,” Anne Johnson of Moorhead said of the baby.

The 62-year-old retired office manager said she gets a good impression of the young royal couple and that birth means celebrations are in order.

“I’ll definitely raise a private toast. And I’m sure there will be some of us that get together and go out to lunch and toast the baby,” she said.

“You don’t really need an excuse to go out to lunch, but it’s a good excuse,” Johnson said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583