There is a dehumanising tendency to treat the Royal Family as a soap opera or life-long reality TV show.
So the chorus of disapproval at the news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to step back from their royal duties and consider moving abroad was predictable.
How dare they seek to escape their gilded cage, to leave their starring roles in this long-running hit show?
But Prince Harry should no more be trapped in a life determined by the accident of his privileged and wealthy birth than a child born in abject poverty.
He and Meghan should be able to choose their own path in life, as we all should, and if that means leaving the ‘family firm’, then so be it. Isn’t this a free country?
If there has been a family falling out, who are we to judge who’s right or wrong? Such issues, as many of us will know from personal experience, are usually much more complicated than they seem to outsiders.
Surely the kindest thing to do would be to wish them all the best and hope any rift can be mended.
We should remember Harry and Meghan are real people and, in a fundamental way, just like us.