Is the British monarchy just for show?

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is another sign that the British royal family has steered though its sea of crises and can, for the moment, look forward to calmer waters.

For now the attention is on a young couple – and the prospect of a future heir and perhaps a spare. Normal service, it seems, is being resumed.

Not that the royal problems are over. They never are. But the nature of the problems could change.

In recent years they have often been personal.

In future they might be constitutional. An activist King Charles III could test to the limits the unwritten rule that monarchs have the right to be consulted, to advise and to warn – and the responsibility to keep quiet.


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