The Battle of Agincourt started with a volley of arrows fired by the depleted English forces, while Napoleon's forces kicked off Battle of Waterloo just before lunchtime (rude, no?) with an artillery bombardment.
But who needs the weaponry in 2021 when we have People?
This week, after a period of unusual peace and quiet on the royal front, skirmishes resumed with lawyers being called in after a new report in the American weekly, which has resurrected the face-off between Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Buckingham Palace over claims of royal racism.
On August 31, which will also be the 24th anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales' death, the updated edition of the firmly pro-Sussex biography Finding Freedom is set to be released. Hence, Omid Scobie, one of the title's authors is back on the PR hustings.
Audiences got their first taste of what fresh PR misery might be in store for the palace's courtiers courtesy of this week's People cover story which features an interview with Scobie.
In the piece, he alleges that Harry and Meghan had felt that Her Majesty had failed to take "full ownership" of the racism allegations they had raised during their prime time outpouring.
(In March, the Duchess claimed that there had been "conversations about how dark" her unborn son's skin colour might be and that racism from the tabloid press had been a "large part" of why they decided to leave the UK. The Queen's response to the allegations was a sparse 61-words in length, saying in part, "The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.")
Scobie and co-author Carolyn Durand, per People, write in the new edition of Freedom: "The Queen's 'recollections may vary' comment 'did not go unnoticed' by the couple, who a close source said were 'not surprised' that full ownership was not taken."
They quote "a pal of Meghan" as saying: "Months later and little accountability has been taken. How can you move forward with that?"
Hear that sound? That's the bandage being ripped off the still-raw wound that is the racism allegations Meghan has previously levelled at the palace.
To be clear here, it is not the Sussexes themselves reopening this particular Pandora's box.
Last year when the book was first released, the couple denied they had contributed to it. As part of Meghan's privacy lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday, lawyers acting for the duchess listed a series of "incorrect" details in Freedom.
However, also during the same case it emerged that on one occasion she had passed on information, via an intermediary, to the authors "to prevent any further misrepresentation".
Yesterday, lawyers acting for Harry and Meghan swung back into action (those two sure keep their legal team in billable hours don't they?) distancing the couple from Scobie's new claims and threatening legal action should any media outlet suggest they had "reignited a rift" with the Queen.
As a source told the Daily Beast overnight: "They've created this issue themselves. As they talk to Scobie, they've made him their unofficial spokesman, so people buy into him."
Looking beyond all of this, what is clear is that this People story, and the coming global campaign to shift copies of Freedom, will see the Sussexes' damaging claims about their treatment by the palace resuscitated in the press and brought back to the fore.
And this, in turn, will only serve to remind the world of just how inept and deeply inadequate Buckingham Palace's response on the racism charge has been – and continues to be.
The Queen asserted that Meghan's claims would be dealt with "privately" but is that good enough for a sovereign who presides over a Commonwealth, the majority of whose population are people of colour?
While earlier this year it was revealed that Buckingham Palace was considering hiring a diversity tsar, there has been no announcement made on this front. In June, the annual sovereign grant report, for the first time, revealed that only 8.5 per cent of royal staffers are from ethnic minorities, with one source saying "we can do better."
Does this cut the English mustard? Far, far from it.
A poll done several weeks after the Oprah interview found nearly 43 per cent of non-white Britons thought the royal family was racist, as opposed to only 27 per cent who thought they were not. The same poll of ethnic minority voters found that on the question of whether the UK should keep the monarchy, the "yes" vote only just squeaked over the line with 43 per cent as opposed to 40 per cent in the "no" camp.
The royal family have an enormous amount of ground to cover on this issue, ground that they have so far taken no public steps to try to make it up.
This People story, and whatever other new morsels are released to try and tempt the book-buying masses, will only reinforce how wholly at sea the monarchy is right now when it comes to addressing the questions of race raised by the duke and duchess.
Give courtiers a toe-sucking scandal or some suggestion of some sort of murky financial skulduggery or a Windsor who just been caught without their pants in Vegas and it's par for the course. Get out the pro-forma press release Gerald, there's a good chap.
But when it comes to facing, head on, the very serious allegations that Harry and Meghan have brought up, the palace has unequivocally failed.
The only HRH to directly come out and directly respond to Harry and Meghan's claims was Prince William who firmly told the press days after the interview saying that the royal family is "very much not racist".
But, sorry, the occasional thin-lipped, miserly denial is just a sorry excuse for an institution which must do better if they want to still be in the throne business in the next century.
Here's at least one nice thing that Scobie has alleged, telling People that we are in happily ever after territory now, and that the duke and duchess are staying away from "some of the toxicity".
"They seem to be existing in a different place, and that place is much healthier," Scobie has said. "Meghan famously spoke about that it was not enough to survive – we are now in the thrive chapter."
The same, it could be said, for their lawyers too …
• 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.