This editorial marks the failure of the French Revolution. A nonagenarian matriarch — whose largely unemployed family owns vast amounts of unearned, inherited property — has just been blessed with her eighth grandchild. Of course, births are joyous occasions, and there is nothing wrong with celebrating a baby.
But all royalty is a lie and worse. Go back far enough into a clan’s genealogy and their greatness is based on the ability to do violence and institutionalise it. And, given the fact that this point was made quite forcefully — the importance of liberty, equality and fraternity was brought home on the edge of the guillotine in 1789 — the abiding fascination for the House of Windsor and other absentee landlords is somewhat worrying. In Japan, for example, the loss of collective reason is being marked by a shrewd businessman selling jars of air to mark the end of a royal era.
So, why are otherwise able citizens of modern democracies taken in by the trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows of blue-blooded reality TV stars? Well, British royalty, like many others, has managed to stay relevant, adapted to the changing times. In an age of global warming, rising threats of authoritarianism and the rise of machines, they are real-life Disney characters, distractions that keep reality from becoming overwhelming. In fact, such is the power of this celebrity that even as the greatness of Great Britain is under a cloud thanks to Brexit, the fandom of its first family only grows, colonising Asia, Africa and the Americas, a shadow of a once vast and cruel empire. To maintain this mirage, all that Prince William and Meghan Markle must do is preen and wave and fit into a carefully-crafted public image.