Leading article: A test of republican credentials

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton appears to have divided the nation – but not along royalist and republican lines. The split, rather, is between those who are delighted, and those who are appalled, at the prospect of another public holiday.

The proximity to Easter of the chosen date means that the nation will be treated to two four-day weekends in a row – with just a three day working week between them. Some in the business community bemoan this, claiming an extra holiday will cost the economy £6bn. Many employees will take the three days off as holiday since they will only need to take another four days' annual leave to enjoy a 17-day break.

Some people are even complaining that the festivities will make it more difficult to engage voters in the arguments for electoral reform because the media will be too distracted by the royal nuptials to explain the 5 May referendum properly. Perhaps the solution is for more, not fewer, British bank holidays. Economic puritans who elevate profit above all other values can, along with stalwart republicans, go into work on 29 April anyway.

Unless, like the Bishop of Willesden, who bizarrely predicted that the royal marriage would last just seven years, they find they have no job to go to.