Wait, I Wanted a Queen!

Female monarchs are like male emerald swallowtails — more rare and fun to look at

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Yes, yes, any baby is a blessing and any healthy baby is wonderful and we’re so lucky to have been around for this historic event and congrats and cigars and yay and all, but dammit, I wanted a Queen. I wanted a royal baby girl.

This is not just a feminist impulse. Of course I wanted a female to exercise her right to this politically meaningless but insanely prominent position. It’s also not just a desire for more soap opera, although it would be excellent to watch some poor fool ask the future head of the Church of England on a date. But mostly it’s because female monarchs are like male emerald swallowtails: more rare and fun to look at.

Before you call me shallow, let’s look at the real job description here. The royal family has, over the years, glided from being a powerful empire-building dynasty to the Swiss Army Knife of famous families. Any time an old-people’s home is opened or a ribbon is cut on a municipal park or a ship is launched or someone makes it to 100, they step up. They show up for events that are as worthy as they are unsexy, freeing up those who are famous for doing something to keep on doing it.

(PHOTOS: Oh Baby: 119 Years of Infant Royals on Camera)

Women are much more suited for this particular duty, which is all about visual communication. Queen Elizabeth for example, often wears a loud and off-trend color, so she can be picked out in the distance in a crowd. Even if Prince Charles will occasionally wear a kilt, so royal watchers have something to talk about, he’s not going to be rocking the canary yellow or magenta the way Her Maj regularly does. We now have three generations of dudes in suits to look forward to. Yawn.

The one thing nobody really wants the royals to do is talk. An intelligent sovereign, one who wants to change anything? Nobody needs that. It’s vitally important for modern monarchs to appear impotent. And women are better at that. They know what it’s like to have people want them around while having no real interest in any of their thoughts.

Gender politics aside, let’s face it: there are just some jobs that men are better suited for, like singing bass in the opera, and some that women are better suited for. Being a crowned head of state is a woman’s work.

Read TIME’s previous feature about why the royal baby will be such a figure of global influence

Read TIME’s original 1982 story about the birth of Prince William