It has been a slam-dunk year of success for the House of Windsor.
If some Machiavellian palace official is working off a strategic grid, making carefully-crafted announcements designed to maximise support for Britain’s ancien regime they couldn’t have planned yesterday's developments any better.
The news that a royal child is on the way tops out a dismal year for po-faced republicans. 2012 has unquestionably become the year of enforced patriotism and a firebreak for declining support for the monarchy, with four out of five of us now supporting its retention.
A strained insistence to join in and be part of it all has come in waves this year. First it was the Queen’s diamond jubilee. Next it was the European Football Championships. Then the London Olympics. Now it’s the royal baby. Even stalwart republicans have to concede they are on the wrong side of public opinion and in mortal danger of sounding like mean-spirited elitists.
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