I cannot decide if I am a royalist or an anti-royalist.
I am fascinated by the history of the British royal family.
Anyone who can keep a business going for nearly 1000 years has to have something special.
This is not counting the few kings prior to 1066 that started the whole "King of England" thing. Before them, England had several kings at any one time and Wales and Scotland were also separate kingdoms.
In fact, the British royal family as such did not really come about until the Scottish king James VI also became king of England and Ireland in 1603 after Elizabeth I died, as James I. Even then Scotland and England were two different states combined by only the "personal union" of James.
And the British royal family was, for a long period, not British but German.
They spoke English without a German accent at least as far back as Edward VIII, verified by recordings of his speeches, but German was a language many royals spoke as well, including the present Queen's father as he apparently found German easier than English due to his stammer.
So the British royal family has only been really British for about 400 years with a good smattering of German and one or two other European bloodlines, Dutch and Danish included.
Since then they have really run a very successful empire-building business, peaking in about 1920 with an empire covering 24 per cent of the world's land mass and 23 per cent of its population.
They managed to lose the American colonies in 1783 after a long war but their influence in the US is still of huge significance nowadays.
When I say the British royal family, they were of course, especially in the last 350 years, figureheads of this empire with no real political power following the scrap between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists in the English Civil War from 1642 to 1651.
Of course, they could and did quietly use their undoubted influence to help shape policy and the colonisation of their subjugated peoples.
There have been, in my opinion, some great kings and queens and some simply awful kings. The queens all seem to be successful and history seems to remember them kindly for, overall, good things, although Elizabeth I arranging for her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots to have her head removed was probably a low point in an otherwise very successful reign.
While the British built this huge empire, introduced Christianity to all the "pagan" masses, and introduced Western science, medicine and art to all parts of their world, they also inflicted colonisation and all its evils, slavery, firearms, disease, alcohol, tobacco and an abhorrent class system that placed indigenous people at the lowest strata of any colony.
During Victorian times there were attempts to ease the burden on native populations but genocide by disease, land confiscation, war or dislocation was practised in many colonies, including the Australasian colonies.
These now independent and self-governing countries are still struggling with the fallout of those practices that, through a 21st-century lens, were despicable to say the least.
Reading an article recently following speeches given by Prince Harry and his wife urging the peoples of the Commonwealth to confront their colonial history and to make amends for past sins was, on first reading, galling.
I thought hearing a prince of the British royal family urge former colonies to smarten their acts up in terms of racism and putting past wrongs to right seemed a bit rich when it was his ancestors who benefited so well from colonising almost a quarter of the world.
My gut reaction is probably due to my distaste for this present royal family, barring the Queen, who I respect and admire.
I admit to struggling with having a head of state who lives in a castle outside London, 18,685 km away. New Zealand is not a colony and does not owe Britain anything, especially since 1973 when Britain dumped us for the European market. Is it time we followed the example of Ireland?
Then, I thought, this privileged but naïve young man with a wife of colour may have had his eyes opened to the history of his family in a way no other royal has.
Harry was always going to be a rebel. We all remember the sadness of that little boy walking behind his mother's funeral cortege.
He now lives in a non-Commonwealth country, a nation fast becoming a broken relic of its past, similar to the defunct British empire.
He now mixes with people who have a different world-view to his privileged set in Britain.
He is right to remind the Commonwealth of the past wrongs committed by his ancestors and to urge change. Good on him.