YOU ARE BORN insanely rich, so rich you will never have to work a day in your life, but you will "work" and be royally compensated. Sound inviting?
You are the second grandson of the monarch, the second son of her son. You are the "spare," after the "heir," as the Britons say.
Your name is Prince Henry, they call you Prince Harry, but you are really Prince Redundant.
In Ye Goode Olde Days, you would spend your days happily drunk, dissolute and in the arms of whores.
It could be worse.
Then things changed.
Heads started rolling, royal heads, the heads of blue bloods.
The House of Windsor, no dopes they, intuited they would have to change if they were to keep their castles, their titles, their wealth, their heads.
So they morphed from rulers into PR gimmicks - like team mascots, but for an entire nation.
U.S.A. has Disneyland, the kingdom of Mickey Mouse.
The Brits have Buckingham Palace, the kingdom of the Windsors. (Currently the queendom.)
For modern-day royals, there are expectations.
Next-in-line to the throne, Prince Charles was expected to marry a fetching virgin, so he was denied his true love. Because chronic inbreeding seldom produces the best and the brightest, he chose to couple with commoner Diana Spencer, the shy, willowy schoolteacher destined for global celebrity and an early, public death.
Do the wealth and celebrity still sound inviting?
Gone are the days when the royals would be killed by assassins. Today the killers carry cameras and digital recorders.
When Elizabeth - her 61-year reign is Britain's second-longest (after Queen Victoria's 63 years) - decides to cash in or croak, her elderly son Charles will have a short reign compared to his mum.
His No. 1 son, William, may have a long reign.
No. 2, Harry, 28, will have a long, fruitless wait. The moment the lovely Kate, Will's wife, pops one from the oven, Harry is o-u-t.
Will he be jealous, or relieved?
Younger and more trouble-prone than older brother William, Prince Harry (known to his friends as Spike) has had several brushes with notoriety. If your kid does it, it's delinquency. If a royal does it, it's an embarrassment:
There was underage drinking, smoking pot, wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party, throwing snowballs at bobbies from the Kensington (London's, not Philly's) palace roof, punching a paparazzo, calling a Pakistani comrade a "Paki," and a few other BFDs.
After photos surfaced showing Prince Harry nude during a late-night party in Las Vegas, the redheaded royal heartthrob shut down his Facebook profile - He had used the pseudonym "Spike Wells."
We jump ahead to this week. In uniform, he paid his respects to America's fallen at Arlington National Cemetery and to wounded veterans at Walter Reed, and flew to Colorado to attend the Warrior Games for wounded service personnel. Harry - a captain in the British army, a self-described "bullet magnet" during frontline service in Afghanistan - is at ease among his fellow soldiers. Brits with whom he served regard the young royal as a good bloke.
Later in the week - still looking comfortable - he was walked around the Jersey Shore by the human dirigible, Gov. Christie. (Note to Guv: Avoid being photographed next to anyone as slim and fit as Harry.) He closed the week playing polo (He shoots, he scores!) for charity in Connecticut.
He has a serious side and a sexy, silly side. Like his mother, he chafes in the velvet handcuffs of royalty.
There is practically no chance he will sit on the throne, and I think he'd rather sit on a horse.
Redundant or not, he will spend his entire life under a microscope, having his every word and action scrutinized and criticized.
To me, that's a royal pain.