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A podcast co-hosted by CPD Faculty Fellow Nicholas J. Cull and Good Country Index founder Simon Anholt.

The Annie Leibowitz portait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by her great grandchildren...quite simply, stunning. And mesmerising. [...] Having admired her many gruelling decades of public engagements, her fortitude, diplomacy and devotion to duty vanishingly few of us would want to be Queen in her stead.

Soft power is influence. I do blither on about the soft power of the arts, especially literature, but I’m not wrong. The act of reading changes the world more and for the better than war does, and since Britain is one of the most prolifically literate nations on earth, it still has a say in how the planet is run (badly but it could be worse). Britain, a tiny island, still rates, and soft power is its currency.

Americans began July celebrating their independence from colonial rule. Less than three weeks later, many are rejoicing at the birth of a royal baby boy. It is one of the great American paradoxes that a country which got rid of the monarchy in 1776 continues to lavish so much attention on the Royal Family. One thing that the Windsors continue to command here is airtime on American television and column inches in the newspapers.

Britain’s royals are – for now – here to stay. It is difficult to imagine London without Buckingham Palace, Trooping the Colours, the uniformed sentries, and all the pageantry that attends the royal family. Prince William and his bride, Kate, are without much of the baggage that attends some other members of the reigning court. Perhaps they may add luster to a crown that has become a little tarnished.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the most glamorous young couple in the world. They have the capacity to do great things, not just for the monarchy but also for Britain on their foreign trips and it is the Commonwealth countries that should be their priority in the years to come.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the most pro-monarchy Canadian leader since the 1950s, and his ambition is to foster a national identity that is more conservative and more aware of its historical roots. He has just come out of a general election greatly strengthened, and now he gets to bask in the aura of William and Kate on their first official overseas trip as a married couple.

Monarchy and tourism experts alike say no marketing budget could buy the boost Canada will get from hosting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their first tour abroad since their April 29 wedding captivated the world.