In his account of Tony Blair’s Downing Street in The New Machiavelli, Jonathan Powell tells of an event he says converted him to republicanism. The Prime Minister’s chief of staff and girlfriend Sarah had gone with Blair on a visit to one of the many taxpayer-funded homes of hereditary head of state Elizabeth Windsor. But while Blair was invited to share a barbecue with Windsor and her husband, Powell and girlfriend were taken off to eat elsewhere. It seems that the head of state had been told that the couple were not married. She decided that bad manners was better than setting a bad precedent, as she had banned her son’s unmarried partner from the home!