The divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from Britain’s royal family has been negotiated with a speed that may prove ill-advised. However impulsive, even crass, the couple’s behavior, given their global popularity there was a case for the monarch to be seen to show forbearance, to keep talking. As with all soap operas, it is rash to kill off cast members without considering the possible impact on the ratings.

It is interesting to speculate about how much advice the Queen and her heirs sought before embarking on the course that led to last weekend’s announcement of the removal of the couple’s cash drip and H.R.H. titles. Precedent suggests not much. Members of the royal family sometimes solicit the views of friends, courtiers, lawyers, and even of journalists. Very seldom, however, do they heed the counsel of outsiders, unless it coincides with their own instincts.