As a person whose eight great-grandparents were born in Ireland, my enthusiasm for British royalty is rather limited.

Irish Times columnist Patrick Freyne may have put it most succinctly: "Having a monarchy next door," he wrote in 2021, "is a little like having a neighbour who's really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clown-related news stories.

More specifically, for the Irish, it's like having a neighbour who's really into clowns and, also, your grandfather was murdered by a clown."

Arkansas Times columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of "The Hunting of the President" (St. Martin's Press, 2000). You can email Lyons at eugenelyons2@yahoo.com.

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