Can royalty be fired? The resignations of the United Kingdom's Prince Andrew from public duties following a disastrous TV interview concerning his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein doesn't quite go all the way — but the king of Sweden, for example, recently cut five blameless grandchildren from the royal house. That's a good practice in an age when monarchies are essentially keepers of a brand rather than rulers.

In a 2006 paper, John Balmer of the Bradford School of Management in the U.K., Stephen A. Greyser of Harvard University and Mats Urde of Lund University in Sweden argued that Europe's constitutional monarchies function as corporate brands.

This makes sense: Even when monarchs have a lot of constitutional power, as in Norway, where the king theoretically could veto any law and pick prime ministers more or less at will, it just doesn't happen anymore. Perhaps the only monarch who does play an active political role is the king of Belgium, who constantly has to prod parties in the country's two nearly-independent halves to form governments together.