HOW lovely would it be to decide tomorrow that you’d like to take six weeks off work over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Visit far flung relatives overseas, holiday with the family and spend time in luxury mansions provided by very rich and famous friends.
Of course, that’s a pipe dream for the vast majority of us who work hard to pay the bills, cover the mortgage and attempt to feed our families.
If you are privileged member of the royal family funded by hard-earned taxpayer cash then such opportunities do present themselves.
Yup, you live a life in a fishbowl at a few official functions throughout the year – but you are granted vast swathes of free time and space to live a millionaire lifestyle in a manner you desire, with very few checks and balances outside of media scrutiny.
The trade-off for that has always been that you must keep schtum about the type of issues lots of celebrities like to moan about ad infinitum, allow the public a small degree of access to your family and keep out of political issues.
When KING EDWARD VIII was faced with a miserable life as the monarch or love with the American divorcee WALLIS SIMPSON, he chose the latter.
But PRINCESS MARGARET went the other way by ending her engagement to true love PETER TOWNSEND – refusing to give up the extravagant luxuries offered by staying part of the royal fold, like weeks on end living it up on the royal yacht Britannia.
Luckily we live in far more enlightened times when it comes to who royals fall in love with – but there is still a fundamental arrangement that is made if you choose to stay a full-time royal with all the vast entitlements that brings.
Personally, I think it would be a miserable, limiting lifestyle, filled with duty and a lack of genuine human relationships. I’d hate the inability to express my opinions and truly create my own path.
So if I had been born into such an environment, I probably would have run a mile. And while it might be frowned upon, that is a choice that remains open to all royals.
In fact, in this age of austerity, PRINCE CHARLES has been lobbying for a streamlined monarchy for some time.
He’d love the hangers on like troublesome PRINCE ANDREW and his clingy princess daughters EUGENIE and BEATRICE to wash their hands of the institution officially and become private citizens who make their own money.
Which brings me to PRINCE HARRY and MEGHAN.
Not since Charles and PRINCESS DIANA has a royal couple appeared so miserable about their lot in life, with a victim complex that makes them believe the media are out to get them.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
Meghan was welcomed with open arms by the British public and the press, despite being a C-list Hollywood actress with a slightly dubious past when it came to her desire to be famous and meet famous British blokes (ASHLEY COLE, MATT CARDLE and MAX GEORGE were all stars she had been in contact with).
But they seemed genuinely happy and we welcomed the prospect of a mixed race American princess finally dragging the Windsors into the 21st century.
We also gave them a wedding for the ages. The country stopped – and many of us shed a tear as the little boy who had walked behind his mother’s coffin gripped with pain said I do to the woman he’d fallen in love with.
Like so many millions of others, I hosted a bash at my house and attended a community street party in one of the most memorable days the country has had since the London Olympics.
The media went totally gaga for lovely Meghan – countless front pages, souvenir magazines and glowing tributes about what a breath of fresh air she was.
Yet it’s this same country – and the same media – that Prince Harry and Meghan are now engaged in some type of open warfare.
They’re owning their victimhood like a preachy GEORGE CLOONEY-type star who has lost any sense of reality about how tough life actually can without much money or without a be job or without family support – and the public simply don’t get it.
When it comes to the media coverage, no one should apologise for asking questions of the Sussexes. Being a royal does not – and should not – guarantee you sparkling coverage. The TV broadcasters operate as royal propaganda outlets but newspapers quite rightly don’t.
Meghan had a falling out with her father, who Harry never went to Mexico to meet, and coverage of such a dramatic personal situation was inevitable. Especially given Meghan has put her mother at the centre of many public events, prompting Thomas to lash out publicly.
Then the Sussexes fell out with WILLIAM and KATE. Their charity was split and relations between the brothers became strained. Clearly a story in the public interest.
Then the couple started ignoring advice from even their closest allies within the family. Harry and Meghan took four private jet flights in just 11 days. They signed a deal to make a big budget TV series for US tech giant Apple.
They started increasingly relying on advice from America – including hiring a controversial crisis management PR firm called Sunshine Sachs previously used by HARVEY WEINSTEIN and MICHAEL JACKSON.
None of that is normal and it all deserves to be covered.
But Harry and Meghan continue to enjoy positive publicity most royals can only dream of (just ask long-suffering PRINCE EDWARD).
Coverage of their tours down under and to Africa were glowing, allowing the couple to shine a light on a swathe of charities they have been keen to promote.
Sunday night’s ITV documentary showed a petulant side of the couple – looking for reasons to feel under attack. The reality is they are not.
Royals – including Harry’s mother – realised that working with the media is an essential part of being a successful member of The Firm. Sure, there’ll inevitably be some rough moments but on the whole the coverage will be positive.
The Queen continues to prove every day the more committed you are to duty and the less interested you are in publicly moaning about your life the better the results.Play VideoMeghan Markle’s sister slams ‘hypocrite’ Duchess claiming she didn’t even ask how her dad was after two heart attacks
Harry and Meghan should take this time off to think about their future and whether they could benefit from officially leaving the royal fold.
I think that would be a great shame and is not at all a necessary decision – but it would allow them to make their own money, travel how they want to and avoid some of the scrutiny that rightly comes as a publicly funded royal.