The Century of the Common Monarch

For a British perspective on the monarchy today, TIME asked the views of one of that institution's most seasoned, if skeptical observers, whose notable career as a journalist, author and television pundit has been punctuated by stints in government service and as editor of Punch.

In the somewhat seedy bar of the Exiled Monarchs' Club—always assuming that such a club exists, in Lisbon, say, or Monaco, or even Florida—they must surely be raising a glass this week to drink the health of Prince Charles and his bride, Lady Diana, and marveling how, alone of the larger monarchies, the British model should have...

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