Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
7 May 2017, 01:11
As the Queen nears the end of her reign, the royals are keenly aware that the public's affection for her has failed to find a new home with any of the other members of the House of Windsor.
The Queen has longevity and a sense of permanence in her favour.
We have all grown up with her as a fixture on the coins and in the papers but the younger royals just don't have "it" - that indefinable something that I would call the X-factor if that phrase hadn't been hijacked by the toothsome Simon Cowell and his parade of deluded cannon fodder.
We are persuaded to be bowled over when the royal family do just what we would do given half a chance - show up for a free lunch, meet interesting people that are dazzled by us and leave when we want.
When someone that enjoys the public's genuine affection does it, it works. When we are not so keen on them, it does not work at all.
When the Queen gives up the reigns, or passes on to ride the golden carriage in the sky, the fairy-dust will fall flat on the ground like thrown confetti.
Wills and Wotsit just aren't that interesting, Harry is too normal to be exciting, and as for Airmiles Andy, well, he's just flat out not likeable.
That leaves Charles, the only one of the lot of them who has anything of importance to say on any subject, and has been regularly vilified for meddling, interfering and nannying for doing so.
Honestly, can you recall anything that William or Harry or even the Queen has ever said?
Charles talks about important things like climate change and caring for animals.
We like to think of ourselves as an animal loving country, but we actually don't care about them at all, unless we find them cute and can imbue them with human personality qualities.
Charles talks about organic food. Not just for the protection of the land from pesticides, but for the relative kindness that is shown to the animals that are farmed that way.
The amount of food that we buy that was created organically is tiny for a country that has convinced itself of its love of animals.
Charles talks about housing and how people are squeezed into charmless little homes for the profit of the construction firms and he talks about pollution.
All these things are actually important to people's lives, but the press and the public dislike him for it so much that they want to skip him when the Queen dies and make William the King. But that's not how it works - if we skip Charles, that would make the Queen’s second son the King.
All hail King Airmiles Andy!
When The Queen passes on the crown, it will be time to slim down the royal family. We have got plenty enough history to amuse the tourists.
Those that come here with even a thought for the royals do so for what they used to be, not for what they are now.
You would have to be seriously deluded to imagine that you are going to get to meet the Queen or some passing prince if you come to London on your holidays, so the institution is an historical attraction.
We don't need them and they don't need our money.
We could take back the palaces, cancel the pay-outs, have them pay for their own security and spend what we save on the health service.
It would be an extra £350m a year for the NHS.
Someone should write that on a bus.