The Relative Value of Different Dynasties
The news this week that the ‘brand’ of the British monarchy is currently valued at £57 billion, up from £44 billion at the time of Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee in 2012, is not surprising. After all, it is one of the principal attractions of the UK and contributed a net profit of £1.15 billion for the UK economy this year, calculated by the income it generated minus the yearly government payout to maintain senior royals. Arguably, if the royals are no longer trotted out on grand occasions, the inflow of tourism money — mostly dollars — would be considerably less. Even the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to India earlier this month has apparently resulted in a 25% uptick in bookings for the coming tourism season. That surely gives a purely commercial reason to keep the House of Windsor going. If a monarchy is worth that much even in these egalitarian times, it may be educative to also assess the prominent nonroyal dynasties around the world similarly. In India, gauging the relative values of two unrelated dynastic brands with the same name — Gandhi — could be particularly instructive. While one undergoes periodic fluctuations in value, usually evident during general elections, stakeholders of the other Gandhi brand face a peculiar problem: its brand value keeps rising, but the ability of anyone to cash in on that appeal keeps going down. Some individuals, it would appear, are in a league way beyond mere monarchy.