Royal wedding: Does Kate Middleton really want to marry into a family like this? - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine:
"A hereditary monarch, observed Thomas Paine, is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary doctor or mathematician. But try pointing this out when everybody is seemingly moist with excitement about the cake plans and gown schemes of the constitutional absurdity's designated mother-to-be. You don't seem to be uttering common sense. You sound like a Scrooge. I suppose this must be the monarchical "magic" of which we hear so much: By some mystic alchemy, the breeding imperatives for a dynasty become the stuff of romance, even "fairy tale." The usually contemptuous words fairy tale were certainly coldly accurate about the romance quotient of the last two major royal couplings, which brought the vapid disco-princesses Diana and Sarah (I decline to call her "Fergie") within range of demolishing the entire mystique. And, even if the current match looks a lot more wholesome and genuine, its principal function is still to restore a patina of glamour that has been all but irretrievably lost..."
"...the British have the greatest theatre in the world. They love to dress up and they love to play pretend. And that's what the royal family is - it's a huge game of pretend. These aren't special people - it's fake outfits, fake phony hats and gowns."