Safe in his Bucklebury redoubt, Prince George of Cambridge is enjoying his first days on earth in the care of a warm and loving family, in an atmosphere far removed from the panoply and pomp normally suffered by future kings.
The free-and-easy Middleton household is the perfect antidote to the exigences of court life - no protocol, no servants, and no formality as the new baby finds his way. Prince William must be truly grateful for this child's rather more normal start to life. But how grateful? Is the Royal family - indeed, is the nation - ready to reward the Middletons for delivering their daughter and her firstborn into the pages of history? And if so, how?
Students of the royal story are quick to point out that Michael Middleton is the first grandfather of a future king not to bear a title. Indeed, not for 1,000 years has our sovereign had a commoner among its grandparents. Historically, grandfathers of future monarchs have been bluebloods with their own title, the roll-call down the ages heavily spattered with kings, princes and dukes.
Our future King William had an earl (Spencer) as his maternal grandpa, and so did the Queen (Strathmore). Even Anne Boleyn saw her father advanced from commoner to Earl of Wiltshire long before she gave birth to her daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I.
The only other non-titled grandpa in the past millennium, the father of King Edward IV's wife Elizabeth Woodville, also had an earldom rapidly bestowed upon him. And so a title for Michael Middleton and his gracious lady Carole? With their manor house and their burgeoning wealth, it would surely not seem amiss.
The couple have been welcomed by the Queen into her wider family, plus their entrepreneurial streak would bring a dash of freshness to a slightly boggy hereditary institution.
Charles Kidd, distinguished editor of Debrett's Peerage, thinks it unlikely: "I do not think it very feasible that Michael Middleton will be offered an hereditary peerage. After all, neither of the Princess Royal's husbands have been ennobled - I assume a peerage was offered to both - which means that the Queen has grandchildren who do not have a title, a first in the House of Windsor," he says.
"With every generation that passes, the Royal family absorbs and reflects social changes, and, by the time Prince George of Cambridge becomes King, I think the fact that his maternal grandfather was untitled will not seem odd to the great majority of his subjects." Well, yes and no - the difference here is that Princess Anne's children will be lost in the mists of history, while Prince William's child will be King. And so the possibility remains.
Those charged with such matters at the House of Lords confirm: "Hereditary peerages have not been discontinued - it's just that they are rarely created these days. "Most recent is Prince William's own peerage, a royal dukedom, in 2011. It is to be assumed that Prince Harry will be granted a dukedom at the time of his marriage. Other recent peerages include Prince Edward's earldom in 1999 and Prince Andrew's dukedom of York in 1986. Commoners who received hereditary peerages in the past 30 years include the politicians William Whitelaw and George Thomas." (Both of whom - a Downing Street joke, surely - were created viscount in 1983 even though each was without an heir.)
So it's feasible. All it takes is for the monarch to indicate to her prime minister that she would be pleased to hear his recommendation that Middleton be elevated to the Lords. David Cameron, unless deaf, would take this broad hint and suggest brightly to his sovereign that it would be a jolly good idea to ennoble the Middletons.
Her Majesty would accept this suggestion, and with very little procedural wrangling the thing would be done. So far so good for the Middletons - but what rank? What title? Charles Mosley, former editor of Burke's Peerage, recommends an earldom: "A dukedom would be too much - and anyway you'd have to be colossally rich to support such a title." As for what name they should take, though much has been made in some quarters of the mixed pedigree of the Middleton family, there's some distinguished ancestry for the historians at the College of Arms to call upon when researching a possible title. Take Sir Thomas Fairfax, who rode with King Henry VIII on his military expedition to Artois and Flanders in 1513. Fairfax was knighted by the king when the city of Tournai surrendered in the face of their advance. Later he returned to his ancient seat, Gilling Castle, in Yorkshire. He is Michael Middleton's 12th great-grandfather. There exists a long-established barony, the Lords Fairfax of Cameron, but this is a Scottish peerage dating from 1627.
Though in the creation of peerages it has been the custom to create one which cannot be confused with another, an earldom rooted in an earlier century than the Cameron creation is a strong possibility.
Earl Fairfax has a nice, swanky, antique ring to it. Another possibility could be the revival of the earldom of Manvers, which became extinct in 1955. Michael Middleton's ninth generation grandfather, Daniel Meadows, was born in Suffolk in 1577. Through his direct male line, the Manvers earldom was granted in 1806 to his great-grandson Charles Medows, whose maternal grandfather was the first Duke of Kingston.
It could be argued that a second creation of the Manvers earldom, especially in light of the recipient being grandfather of a future king, would add lustre and history to this peerage. Another strong option would be to call upon the lineage of Michael Middleton's grandmother Olive Lupton.
The Luptons, though not aristocrats, have been established in Yorkshire since the 15th century - the earliest recorded member being Roger Lupton, who became Canon of Windsor in 1500 and subsequently Provost of Eton. They have remained a powerful presence in the county, as wool manufacturers and merchants, and as civic and cultural figures of some importance - it may come as a surprise to learn that the amiable Michael Middleton's great-great-great-great-grandfather, Arthur Lupton, was a chum of the German writer Goethe.
As The Daily Telegraph has noted recently, as long ago as 1926 Middleton relatives played host to Princess Mary, the Queen's aunt, while another relative was a friend of Queen Victoria's son Prince Arthur, and of the future George V - so the leap for an ex-BA aircraft dispatcher to the peerage is not so very implausible.
Choosing a title will present a problem, however, if the family cannot settle on one of the above. Mike will not be allowed to call himself Lord Middleton because others got there before him - the Willoughby family were granted the barony of Middleton in 1677 and have clung onto it ever since.
And the Brodricks, Irish politicians, were elevated to become Viscount Midleton in the 18th century. But there are plenty of choices, including a wide variety of geographical names from which they could choose - though Earl and Countess of Bucklebury are not among them.
Additionally Charles Mosley suggests that, were such a peerage created, it should follow the line of some Scottish peerages in including a female remainder, allowing the title to pass from Michael Middleton to his first-born - Kate - thereby allowing one of her children to bear a title not specifically created for the Royal family. Earl Fairfax? Lord and Lady Lupton? What could be nicer?