It's really just part of our overall fascination with celebrities. I don't think Americans DID pay much attention to British royals prior to the advent of radio and TV in the 20th century. Kings and queens bump around in our imagination with movie actors and rock stars, and for pretty much the same reasons - the wealth, the glamor, the pageantry, the gossip. And I think the real mass fascination with British royals really was launched with Princess Diana; I don't think there was nearly as much interest before her marriage to Charles. She made the royal family glamorous. Other European royal families seem pretty humdrum by comparison, plus we don't speak their language and their names are funny. The British royal family is the one Americans feel they can understand.
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