In Britain, significant royal events – births, deaths, marriages, jubilees – feel like an extra Christmas. They represent the imposition of a bonus period during which gaudy decorations are hung and rubbish souvenirs purchased.

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In Britain, significant royal events – births, deaths, marriages, jubilees – feel like an extra Christmas. They represent the imposition of a bonus period during which gaudy decorations are hung and rubbish souvenirs purchased. Media outlets connive in a ceaseless chorus of instructions to be joyful and the potential responses seem cruelly reduced to a choice between mindless obeisance or ill-tempered meanness.

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