At the age of 94, and a little more than 69 years since her coronation, it might be expected that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has seen and heard it all. Then again, perhaps not, given some of the extraordinary accusations that were hurled, not at her but at her family, by her grandson Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duke Duchess of Sussex, in last week's so-called interview of the decade.
There must have been a fair bit in there that was new to HM, who reportedly didn't watch it, even if some of the couple's grievances might well have been familiar.
Trouble is, as everyone over the age of five knows, there are always two sides to every story. Oprah Winfrey gave the world one side. Whether or not the other side will ever be told is anyone's guess. The Royal Family might well decide to see if it blows over, but the Queen did offer one telling response, that "Recollections may vary."
That's another way of saying, politely, that there are two sides to every story.
The interview certainly got plenty of media attention around the world, not least in the United States, although by all accounts the number of eyeballs that were glued to TV screens around the globe was less than blockbusting. And media in Britain have been accused by some of totally misunderstanding, or misrepresenting, public sentiment there.
The Duchess apparently struck a chord with younger Britons, and no doubt those who believe they, as she claims she has been, are disadvantaged by their ethnicity, but a couple of polls last week reportedly revealed a very solid anti-Meghan response.
If the interview didn't break records, it certainly offered plenty of titillation for those for whom Coronation Street doesn't cut it any more, although one revelation attracted instant, and seemingly well-informed flak.
It was simply not possible, let alone credible, that the couple had been married three days before the official $32 million pound wedding according to one sceptical royal commentator. Apparently even the well connected are unlikely to succeed in inviting the Archbishop of Canterbury to drop around for tea, scones and a quick exchange of vows.
At the time of writing the search for the witnesses who would have had to have been part of the surreptitious ceremony had not been found, but the real question has to be why they would do that. Unless there was a compelling motive that everyone's missed, it makes no sense to wed in secret then pretend to do it all again three days later.
The claim that the Queen had failed, or refused, to bestow a title on the couple's son Archie didn't fly quite as well as they might have hoped either. It was claimed in some quarters last week that legislation enacted in 1917 bars the monarch from chucking titles at anyone further down his or her list of descendants than grandchildren, although Archie's first cousins George, Charlotte and Louis are princes and princess, while Meghan's son is simply Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Having turned her back on life within the Royal Family, however, for whatever reasons, it seems a little odd that she would take such umbrage at her son being denied the most visible trapping of a world that she clearly detests.
The big issues as far as Archie was concerned last week though was the comment supposedly made by a member of the family regarding how dark his skin might be. The instant riposte from one loyalist was to ask why Harry, to whom the comment had allegedly been made, had told his wife, given that he knew only too well her state of mind. Should he not have kept his mouth shut?
If there's a surprise though, it's that Harry's grandfather wasn't accused of making the comment. He's made a career of causing offence, and would have been the major suspect. But no, apparently it wasn't him. Nor was it the Queen.
Who knows who it was, and frankly, who cares? But apart from anything else, the accusation of racism cannot be taken seriously prima facie given that we have no idea of the context within which the remark as made, if indeed it was.
Many people, the writer included, will know from personal experience that it is much easier to offend people by email than face to face. Without the ability to observe body language, it can be all but impossible to determine whether any given comment is made in good humoured jest or with malice, or anywhere between those two extremes.
Goodness knows what the promised inquiry into that allegation is going to find, or achieve, but it is hugely sad that the issue has even been raised.
All families have their disputes and grievances, although the Royal Family's might be of greater public interest than others. That interest, though, is entirely prurient. Are any of us the better for knowing that the Duchess of Sussex received such little support from her husband's family that she had to google the words to her new national anthem? That story, incidentally, runs counter to many from happier days regarding the coaching she received from her sister-in-law for one, and the Queen for another.
And where the hell was Harry?
It's hard to gauge what Harry and Meghan gained from the interview either. Perhaps they feel unburdened. Good for them, although any warm feelings they might be experiencing could be from bridges they have so studiously burned.
If, as some say it could, the interview proves to be the end of Britain's monarchy, then that will be a tragedy beyond all imagining. One suspects it won't be - William, Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis should be good for a few decades yet - but this tawdry display that millions fed on last week will have served no one well, except those for whom it was undoubtedly a very nice little earner.
What's the problem?
We could almost be excused for beginning to think that the government is milking this pandemic for every last drop of drama it can squeeze from it.
How else do you explain the tortuous process that is being followed before it decides whether or not to let the Black Caps to jump the queue for vaccination so they can play the world test cricket match against India in England in June?
The Minister in Charge of the Covid Response, Chris Hipkins, said last week that advice had been taken. More advice was still to be taken, and a decision would be made "in coming weeks."
The decision, he added, would be made public, so all would know what the government was (or wasn't) going to do and why.
What on Earth is the problem. Even at the glacial pace of the vaccination roll-out, 25 shots for the cricket team and its entourage isn't going to make any difference whatsoever. Why can't Hipkins simply ask for a show of hands at the Cabinet table, make the decision and move on to something that actually warrants his time? Like fixing education. Or housing. We're not talking about them much while we have the pandemic to enthral us.
Of course, he could set up a working group to examine all the angles to this extraordinarily knotty problem.