Welcoming Prince Harry and Meghan to New Zealand it is quickly obvious they are not royalty as we have been accustomed to it. The Duke of Sussex dresses casually at every opportunity and the Duchess not only has an American accent, she speaks. Consorts of the monarch or an heir to the throne do not normally make a speech at engagements together. But this one does not just step up the microphone in her own right, she uses words with force.
Speaking at Government House on the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand, she said, "In looking forward to this special occasion I reflected on the importance of this achievement but also the larger impact of what this symbolises. Because yes, women's suffrage is about feminism. But feminism is about fairness."
Feminism is not a word normally heard from members of the royal family and she went on to talk about women's rights in a more forthright tone than we are used to hearing from someone in her position. But the monarchy will survive. It will probably be stronger for having a voice less constrained by the protocol that members of the royal family should say nothing contentious.
Prince Charles has occasionally broken that rule and it may be that his reign will be more relaxed in this respect. But so far his sons are maintaining the Queen's model of anodyne comment. Princes William and Harry are managing to bring a modern informality to their role without saying anything that would raise an eyebrow at Buckingham Palace.
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Harry is carving out a distinctive place for himself, now with the help of Meghan, as his place in the line of succession lengthens behind William's children. Harry's interests, such as the Invictus Games which provided the spur for this royal tour, are well chosen. And his informality in clothing and manner are well in tune with this part of the world.
Through Meghan of course, he has forged a connection with the United States that will do British royalty a great deal of good. Republics are far from immune to a fascination with royalty. Republicans in this country can only wonder how much the new generation of royals is setting back their cause. William and Catherine, Harry and Meghan are likely to be celebrity couples for as far ahead as anyone can see, as may be their children.
With both our main political parties now led by people not much older than the young royals, republican sentiment sounds weaker than it used to be. If it seems inevitable that Australian and New Zealand will one day appoint their own heads of state it is becoming harder to see how or when that would happen.
The Queen has let it be known through her latest biographer that she does not want a decision delayed until her death. She takes the view that if a country does not want a monarch, they should get on with a constitutional change. She is right, no republican should care who is on the throne. They oppose a hereditary position on principle.
But royalty is looking so refreshed today that we can look forward to many royal visits yet.