THE BLOG

The Royal Issue

06/05/2015 12:42 BST | Updated 05/05/2016 10:59 BST

This is getting silly. An increasingly disinterested world is plunged into the desperate maelstrom of a manufactured media obsession about princes and princesses. The press are going large on the birth of a girl to a woman because it has been running with the election for what seems an eternity and it is not increasing their circulation. A little light relief has come our way, weighing 8lb and 6oz. It is one of the few things that we still measure in old money, like pints of beer and inches of snow.

"The Princess the nation had longed for" trumped the Telegraph. The beauty of print is that you can't see them struggling to keep a straight face while they were writing it. Acres of news print were thrown over the royal baby in a bid to whip up the same kind of sales that the papers used to enjoy when Diana was still looking out of the covers of half the publications in the newsagent.

Those times are long gone, and like religion, fascination in the royal family is increasingly the preserve of the old, and that market is a dying one.

Those silly souls who camped out in front of the Bingo Wing of a reassuringly expensive private hospital with Union Flag underpants on their heads, just to get a glimpse of the back of a receding royal head, need to get something else to interest themselves that doesn't involve waiting in the rain for someone who does not care about them.

They could wait outside Madonna's hotel the next time she is in town. She won't care about them either but at least she might show them her underwear, or fall down the steps, or smoke a cigar while swearing. The most they will get from Wills and Whatsit is a plastic smile and emphysema from the exhausts of the protection squad's motorcade.

The interest in the royal family is manufactured by the very well run and aggressively prosecuted family business. They put out press releases proclaiming what great value for money they are and the credulous and unquestioning members of the public mindlessly repeat them ad infinitum: they only cost 59p a day, they bring in the tourists, what would we have without the Queen to stop us from becoming a dictatorship, and so on. It is all complete rubbish.

The Sunday Times Rich List says the Queen is now worth £340m. We are told that she is considerably less well off than she used to be and her wealth pales into comparison with the industrialists and bank racketeers and drug barons who have overtaken her.

That may be true if you look at the statistics but not if you look at her lifestyle. If Roman Abramovich wanted to lead the life of the Queen, he would find himself quite poor quite quickly. How much do you think a palace costs? How much would one cost with a park out the back in the centre of London? Then there's a castle in poshest Windsor, the Highlands estate, theone in Kensington, her son's in St James, Clarence House & etc.

Can you imagine how much the upkeep on that lot would be? How fortuitous that Her Maj doesn't have to pay for it, unlike any pretender to her lifestyle.

What of the security? The entire army is pledged to protect her. That comes in at quite a pretty penny. The actual hands-on security is vast as well. How much would it cost for Abramovich to have the traffic stopped so that he could charge through to wherever he wants without being held up for a second? He would have to pay his staff a lot better than the Queen does too. No-one ever got rich working in the Royal household.

It is not the money in the bank that indicates how rich The Firm is, it is the fabulous gilded lifestyle that comes with being born into it that counts. An ordinary plutocrat would have to stump up about £300m a year just to keep up.

There is also the fact that she is not the only rich one of the family. For example, Charles' Duchy estate is worth £728m, the Duchy of Lancaster estate is worth £348m, the income from these alone bring in about £50m a year. Tax free.

Then there is the tourists lie. I hear it so much when the issue comes up on my show on LBC. It is parroted by those that believe everything they hear that corresponds to their entrenched view of the world but it does not survive any scrutiny at all.

The tourist board Visit England publishes the list of the top sites that tourists visit when they come here. There is not one single destination on its top 20 paid attractions that has anything to do with the current royal family.

There is the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Botanic Gardens but they have as much to do with the queen as the Queen Vic pub in Eastenders.

Visit England also produce a list of free attractions that the public and tourists attend and there isn't a mention of the royals there either. As near as you could get is the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The first actual royal attraction that appears on these lists is Kensington Palace, the 70th most popular site for tourists, which is less popular than the zoos of Edinburgh, Whipsnade, London and Chester. It has about the same number of visitors as the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.

What we are left with is celebrity. They are simply another celebrity brand, albeit with a longer back story than pop puppets One Dimension.

What waning interest they get is based on how famous they are. Acting badly helps in that regard of course, which is why Harry gets screamed at when out on one of his interminable publicly funded holidays.

The young ones are being pushed forward as the saviours of The Firm but, Harry aside, they are so dull as to send a news editor to distraction. The Queen herself has, probably by design, never said anything of any consequence whatsoever in the entire time she has been on the throne. She might as well be an animatron.

The only member of the royals who has actually made a difference is Charles. He has intervened in matters of architecture, and his complaints have been justified , even if his remedies have been quaint. He speaks about climate change and sustainability and what does he get for it? Abuse.

The press tell him to keep out of it, the public dislike him for his "meddling" and the talk is of jumping over Charles and giving the crown to Wills when the Queen passes on. Wills is plain, nice, dull, inoffensive and bland enough to be in a boy band, which is exactly the sort of empty vessel for the public's affections that the press are desperate to push.

They want another Di. They want to go back to when a picture of her looking through her fringe could sell a million papers. It is not the eighties any more though and the public have moved on. It is a slow fade out for the old and a tidal wave of interest for the vacuous new. The royals are out, the Kardashians are in.