By Mark Wallace
Follow Mark on Twitter.
They Royal Family seemed to have developed the opposite of a Midas touch, running into PR disaster after PR disaster, and republicanism had become a fashionable view.
Less than 20 years on, the picture looks very different. Confidence in the future of the monarchy has reached an all-time high, while republican support languishes at around 17% in the polls. The Royal Wedding, the Queen's jubilee and now the birth of George, a future king, have put the House of Windsor on a three-year roll.
The reaction of the republican rump has not been a graceful one. The Observer waxes lyrical about an undemocratic injustice which is "at odds with modern Britain" – without seeming to consider that the majority of modern Britain disagrees with them. (As an aside, they also gripe that Kate's inconsiderate production of a male baby means that "while the law of male primogeniture has been abandoned, tradition is maintained"). Joan Smith in the Independent on Sunday takes the route of outright denial, announcing that "this has been a good week to be a republican".
The Royals have certainly upped their game, particularly in terms of good communications and PR. But the uncomfortable truth which the republican movement refuses to face is that their failure to increase support for their cause is largely their own fault.
These last few years have been characterised by optimism, warmness and honest character from the Royals. By contrast, their opponents have turned out to moan in the middle of every party, and chosen arguments about a supposed tyranny which the population simply do not recognise from real life.
The Sunday Telegraph's front page declares that "the Royal Family can reign over us forever". Thanks to the incompetence of the republican movement, they may well do so.