Our ancestors once cowered before royalty they believed were divinity made corporeal. These days, the notion of the monarchy is so outdated that supporters are reduced to citing tourist revenue in defense of a barbaric relic.
Other rationales — the divine right of kings, a repository of tradition, moral paragons, manifestation of the state, a (barely) living national symbol — have long been eroded by the tides of the history. So the last excuse for hereditary rule is that of the bean counters’ ledger: the cost-benefit analysis.
Kate and William’s royal nuptials will reportedly generate more than $1 billion in economic activity, supposedly a boon for commoners who each proffer but a few pence for the $60 million annual subsidy to the fusty Queen and her adulterous horse-faced brood. (Never mind that this sum excludes the costs of security, policing and vast estates and manors off-limits to the Exchequer; though at least a few years ago the royals were foiled in their attempt to pay for heating their drafty castles by tapping public monies meant for indigents.)