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Does the UK monarchy matter?

Does the UK monarchy matter?
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The British monarchy is still ragingly popular, as the projected viewing figures for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding show. Yet anti-royalists have also been gathering steam in the run-up to the big event, arguing that the institution based on birthright rather than merit should be abolished.

In spite of the pomp, romance and industrial tonnes of souvenirs the royals generate, are the stability and continuity they contribute to a nation and its people enough reason for the monarchy to stay?