Hey everybody, did you realise that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were touring Australia? It’s impossible to escape the coverage of the royal couple barefoot on beaches, wearing garlands, engaging in group hugs, joshing with locals, charming adults and hugging babies. Is this a royal tour or a Disney animation – why aren’t bluebirds circling their heads? When is the merch available? They could do a Harry and Meghan brolly for couples to cuddle under.
Obviously, there’s been the baby news (congratulations) and some coverage would be fine. But not this. If you knew a couple who were constantly making you look at their holiday snaps and videos, you’d be crawling under windowsills to pretend that you weren’t home or answering the phone in a Swedish accent. Yet we’re all supposed to be endlessly fascinated by what Harry and Meghan are getting up to Down Under. I couldn’t care less what they’re doing on their hols/visit/whatever. In the interests of fairness, I wouldn’t care what you got up to on your hols either. I don’t even care that Meghan “touched her bump protectively”; at this stage of gestation, there’s not a lot to protect unless she’s planning to belly flop into Sydney harbour for a bet.
The tour has been declared a PR triumph, especially considering that many Australians (52%) still want a republic. It’s as though Britain sent over the Harry and Meghan Show to say: “A republic, really – and miss out on treats like this?” Meanwhile, back in Britain, you’d almost think that this was dreamed up as a fiendish anti-monarchy ploy. The plan: “Bore everyone in the country stupid with torrents of Australian tour coverage, putting them off a royal couple they like or at least don’t feel like sending to the Tower just yet.” Job done.
• Barbara Ellen is an Observer columnist