Royal precedence in the most literal sense can be a confusing thing.
When Kate Middleton was preparing to become a bona fide Duchess, she had to learn precisely the difference between the occasions in which she was obliged to curtsy to say, Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, and those when they would have to bob demurely in front of her.
Lady Diana Spencer was shown failing to navigate the arcane complexities of who comes before whom in season four of The Crown, with Helena Bonham Carter's Princess Margaret imperiously directing the Bambi-like bride with a cutting wave of her cigarette and whiskey glass about how to reverently genuflect.
(Though given that Diana was born on a royal estate and had grown up around the Windsors, likely this is entirely fanciful.)
The point is, it's tough, especially for us mere mortals who have not grown up in the coddled confines of palace life, to not run afoul of entrenched practice.
Which might explain a particular royal blunder that has come to light.
Earlier this month, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were in New York for the Salute to Freedom Gala where the former Army captain was handing out medals to veterans for what was their first red-carpet appearance since they officially flounced out of royal life.
When the couple arrived at the event he was wearing his military medals and his Knight Commander of Royal Victorian Order cross while Meghan had chosen a voluminous attention-grabbing red Carolina Herrera frock which boasted a sort of sartorial Escher sketch of layers.
However, things took a turn when they entered the ballroom.
In videos posted on social media, the Sussexes are shown entering under a sign that features her name and title first.
(The Crown's Princess Margaret would not have approved.)
Leaving aside any finicky issues about the fact that customarily male titles come first (I know, I know, it makes my feminist self want to rage) what was eyebrow-raising here is that was Harry who is the decorated veteran who served two terms in Afghanistan and it was in that capacity that he was there to hand out awards.
This we could chalk down to Americans being Americans, a nation which often seems to have exclusively acquired their knowledge of all things royal via Downton Abbey reruns, if it didn't highlight a bigger point which is, Harry seems to be shrinking from view.
Earlier this month, his appearance at the Re: Wired conference was largely overshadowed by Meghan speaking at the New York Times' DealBook Summit.
It was Meghan who popped up on Ellen DeGeneres' eponymous chat show last week for a cheesy 'I'm-so-relatable' interview during which she took part in a skit eating like a chipmunk and drinking out of a baby's bottle. (Mortifying? Yes but she has a very long way to go to come anywhere near the epicly humiliating efforts of It's a Royal Knockout.)
Likewise, it has the Los Angeles-native who has been ruffling feathers in Washington and London with her recent cold-calls to US senators over paid parental leave and it is she who will reportedly fly to the capital in the coming weeks for a dinner with a bipartisan group of female pollies to press the point.
It is the former Suits star around whom there is increasing noise about whether she might be contemplating some sort of political run. (One option would be for her to make a play for Dianne Feinstein's Senate seat if the, by-then, 90-year-old decides not to run in 2024.)
Whatever happened to what used to be the Sussexes' patented double act?
Even before their wedding in 2018, Harry and Meghan presented a near-permanent unified front to the world and they became a duo who seemed charmingly glued to one another physically.
In March last year, when they returned to London for their final series of official outings as working members of the royal family, they fronted up as an indivisible unit, he glowering at times, her with a perma-smile in rictus place.
However, that united image seems to have started to slip.
When news of their Oprah Winfrey interview was revealed in late February, it emerged that the first section of the special would just be the Duchess and the talk show titan talking a deux before Harry would "join" the pair. (Lucky him, being allowed to be what looked suspiciously like a second string player in this momentous moment for his family.)
In August, to celebrate Meghan's 40th birthday, she launched an initiative called 40x4- with a playful video starring Melissa McCarthy. All we saw of Harry was him juggling out the window for the briefest of moments. (I'll skip making the obvious joker quip …)
And while the couple has a clutch of lawsuits ticking away, it is the Los Angeles-native's case against the Mail on Sunday's parent company Associated Newspapers Limited over their publication of a letter she had sent her estranged father which has become a legal millstone, though obviously through no fault of her own. (Lord Justice Warby found for her in a summary judgment handed down in February however ANL is currently fighting to appeal.)
Earlier this month Meghan was forced to apologise for unintentionally misleading the court after having forgotten that she had authorised an aide to brief the authors of what would become the fawning Sussex biography Finding Freedom.
All roads now seem to lead to Meghan.
The question here is, has Harry become something of a (possible very willing and very happy) adjunct in terms of his public visibility to his wife?
Speculation they might be filming some sort of docu-series for special for the Netflix lords and masters got a serious boost after a videographer reportedly trailed the couple when they descended on New York for a whirlwind frenzy of meetings in September and the Daily Mail published images showing what appeared to be a camera crew travelling with them when they were back in the Big Apple for the Intrepid Gala.
If this is the case, just who do you think would be the more charismatic and engaging TV 'lead'? The person whose struggles with the limelight are well-documented or the person with a decade-plus worth of experience in front of the cameras?
Let me make plain at this point that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman making noise or waves or whatever the dickens she fancies.
Anyone who dares to use the deeply misogynistic expression about her 'wearing the pants' in their relationship will have to answer to me and my hardback copy of The Second Sex.
However, it does seem to be increasingly apparent that the dynamic which characterised their years as working HRHs – them as a buy-one-get-one-free, inseparable duo – could be shifting with the Duchess of Sussex coming to the solo fore.
And if some sort of run for political office is in her future, then we could see this trend become even more pronounced.
In all of this, it would be far from surprising if this is exactly what Harry wants and yearns for.
Having been unabashedly open about his feelings about the press and life in the spotlight, the prospect of melting a tad into the background to focus on his work, family, and tending to the family's now globally famous chickens would be entirely understandable.
If that is what he wants after the trauma and ructions of his life, then more power to him – get that man a Kathmandu fleece and access to the Golf Channel. Dad-dom calls.
Still, that would not change the fact that Team Sussex looks increasingly like it is becoming Team Meghan.
"Behind every great man, there's a woman," or so the hideously outdated saying goes.
In 2022, it's looking a lot like the more appropriate version would be "behind every great woman is a happy husband."
• Daniela Elser is a royal expert and a writer with more than 15 years experience working with a number of Australia's leading media titles.