The chances of Prince William leapfrogging his father to the throne increased dramatically this week. As the Prince of Wales heads further and further into unconstitutional waters by demanding his letters to government ministers remain private, William started to look like a much more eligible candidate for kingship.
Judging from the media coverage of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations you'd think that the entire British population are ardent monarchists. Critical, dissenting voices were mostly ignored and sidelined. Journalistic balance and impartiality was supplanted in favour of fawning sycophancy towards the royals.
"Even the most ardent republicans respect the Queen". And with that statement so ends the debate. Ardent or otherwise, it is tough enough to get a discussion about ending the monarchy going, let alone begin a process that would actually bring about its demise. Conservatives, lower and upper-case c, appear to have this one sewn up as most of Great Britain celebrates her diamond jubilee, during which affection for the person will overwhelm any doubts about the institution. Not only is 'respect for the Queen' the default position in the media and politics, but in a recession the idea of something as unsettling as ending the monarchy can be dismissed as a waste of money and a priority of abyssal insignificance. However, in the long term it is anything but.