The Middle East is on fire. America has put a total flake in the White House. The UK is about to fall out of the EU/or on its sword – according to political taste. Climate change has wrought devastation on Oz, and Storm Brendan has spent this week battering our shores.

So, naturally, the media, both print and electronic, has been devoting most of its energies to dissecting the state of play in an upmarket family with a range of personalities, sporting a range of conflicting agendas.

Granny and grandpa Windsor are in their 90s; he has already retired from the fray, and she would doubtless like to spend more time with her horses and the telly, had she not been over-endowed with a duty gene which she believes means she has to die in harness. Even though her heir apparent is knocking on a bit himself.

For some of their own children are at normal retiring age, though at least two are still cutting ribbons at newly painted venues and spending days pretending that chatting with total strangers is absolutely the best thing to be doing with their day.

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One is only wheeled out for less glam duties, and one is being kept behind closed doors after being found in bed (sic) with the wrong set.

And then there are the grandweans – the immediate cause of what was dubbed the Sandringham summit.

You might have thought that the one whose attempt to run away from the circus caused the stushie, could have just had a heart to heart with granny and sorted stuff out. Apparently he thought so too – until the courtier classes kept him at bay.

Such is the crazy nature of this world that the media turned up en masse to the estate in question – as if Her Maj was liable to pop over to their satnav vans at any moment, for a blether about what a pain in the backside families can be.

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It is one of the dottier habits of the reporting trade to stand in front of assorted palaces and stately piles in dubious weather conditions doing their royal reporter stint, when they could say much the same thing from a nice warm studio while tuned into the wire services.

Royal mania is a disease which affects a remarkable number of people in this 21st century. I listened to one phone-in this week where a gent of a certain age was complaining that, shock, horror, Meghan had been seen to shake hands with some hosts before her hubby.

Reminiscent of the tabloid hysteria when this fully formed, bright, successful woman did the unthinkable in public. Shut her own car door behind her. The hussy!

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