Say what you like about the royal family, and as a republican I often do, but their capacity for reinvention is truly remarkable. The Windsors rebranded themselves for the era of Britpop with the Diana cult and her bling entourage. When that ended badly they refreshed it with the fairytale match of modest, middle-class Kate and the future King – straight out of a rom com fantasy.
But they’ve gone one better with Meghan, a mixed-race TV star with a highly developed social conscience who campaigns against period poverty in African countries. Her marriage to Harry is pitch perfect for the age of identity politics: ginger meets black. The Royal family has become an emblem of diversity. Guardian columnists are entranced. Gord Bless you Dime.
They courted under the stars in Botswana. She designed the ring. Her afro-Caribbean mother tells of her struggle. They broke the news with photo-calls at Harry’s Invictus Games for disabled veterans. Now she’s a racial minority duchess in waiting. And to cap it all, they seem to be an extremely likeable couple.
There isn’t a single box goddam unticked. People like me who diss the Royals, say they’re the apex of a system of pre-democratic privilege, and the Queen a constitutional abomination, are non-plussed. We look like mean-minded critics of ethnic minority advancement. How do the Windsors do it?