You know what they say: Those who can do, and those who want to be seen to be doing appear on the front of Time in a fug of contrived solemnity.
Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have posed for their first joint magazine cover, gracing the front of the Time issue devoted to the 100 most influential people on the planet, and the result is … astounding.
Astoundingly bad, that is.
We could begin here with the fact that Prince Harry is dressed like a stagehand in a suburban theatre production of Les Mis. Or that the image is clumsily and heavy-handedly Photoshopped.
Or that the Duke looks like he was added in after the fact. Or that the royal couple look like knock-off Madame Tussauds wax figures. Or that his hairline appears suspiciously fuller. Or that social media is having a field day mocking the image that looks like a parody.
Or even, that in a story praising their humanitarianism, Meghan is wearing tens of thousands of dollars worth of Cartier jewellery and diamonds.
No, to really see what is wrong with this picture you have to step back, squint and ask the question, why? Why did the Sussexes do this?
It was only a scant two years ago, in 2019, when Meghan guest-edited British Vogue, and she chose to not grace the fashion bible's cover with the magazine's editor Edward Enniful saying the royal felt it would have been "boastful".
Rightio then. But clearly, something has changed; clearly, these days, Harry and Meghan – with a brand to build and a fledgling commercial empire to get off the ground – have no issue with being "boastful".
Consider this: This issue of Time is all about saluting the men and women who have shaped the world. That Harry and Meghan agreed to take out the cover spot after the events and the global trauma of the last year speaks volumes. That they acquiesced, when Time asked them, to appear on the cover is just telling.
And therein lies the problem here. What this Time image does is not so much make them look like they are publicity hungry but publicity ravenous.
This situation goes to the very heart of their post-royal lives; lives which now seem driven by both a very genuine desire to help and a very real genuine desire to consequently pick up as much good PR as they can.
They have some form on this front. In August last year, they took part in a charity back-to-school event taking their own personal photographer with them to record them doing good. Rewind to September last year and the couple went to a Los Angeles preschool to plant forget-me-nots to mark the anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and they had again had a photographer in tow.
In November, on Remembrance Day, they visited Commonwealth War Graves and, what do you know! They had a photographer tag along too.
The Sussexes clearly want to make the world a better place but they also seem to want everyone to pay close, appreciative attention to them doing it too.
All of this runs counter to the royal example where duty and service are the reigning principles. Sure, some lovely press coverage for the house of Windsor's do-goodery is crucial to their fight to gin up public support but that is not what drives the remaining working HRHs to get up in the morning, throw back a cup of Earl Grey and get out there.
Diana used to pop out of Kensington Palace and hug the less fortunate with the press in tow – but she also, on countless occasions, visited hospital wards and homeless shelters to give succour to those who were suffering and she did it without the expectation of any praise or plaudits.
In February, when Harry was forced to relinquish his honorary military titles and their official patronages, the Sussexes said in a statement "service is universal". While churlishly delivered, the sentiment holds true.
But now Harry and Meghan need to spend less time telling the world just how much service they are rendering and just get on with things.
Harry and Meghan and their Archewell Foundation are unequivocally doing a lot of good things but today's Time cover also reveals that in the Sussexes' world, service also equates to enjoying some big shiny gold stars and lots of lovely publicity to boot.
Beyond that, this cover also reads like a fairly blunt attempt to once and for all re-cast themselves post-Megxit as weighty figures on the global stage.
On some level, this makes sense. Harry was long viewed as the royal joker, the cheeky chap who loved a pint and was always up for a laugh. Meghan was a former Deal or No Deal briefcase girl who found success in a cable TV show and who spent her spare time running a lifestyle blog and building up her humanitarian cred.
Now, having escaped the royal yoke and with no official platform on which to perch, they seem to be desperate to establish their philanthropist bona fides and to be accepted into the Michelle Obama/Bono/Bill Gates charity stratosphere.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the Time cover is that it shows the world how much they feel they have to prove and just how fierce their aching desire is, having fled the royal nest, to be taken seriously. That is, to not just be viewed as a man born within spitting distance of the crown and the woman who married him.
What this cover really smacks of is insecurity – insecurity in their post-royal identities and careers.
Over the 18-months since the duo bailed on their royal careers they have spent an inordinate amount of energy (and photographers' billable hours) trying to convince the world to view and accept them as natural leaders; however, the harder they strain to make the point, the more forced the whole thing comes across.
If only they would stop trying to be seen to be doing and just do.
If only they could park their egos and professional anxieties for a while.
What someone needs to point out is that leaders get out there and lead – and don't wait for someone to give them a gold star every time they make the world marginally better.
If they want to be hailed as the next generation's brightest lights then the proof is in the tangible pudding and not how many retweets they can garner, Instagram likes they can rack or Good Morning America mentions they can amass.
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.