There was once a time, many moons ago, when the only time a representative of the British royal family would deign to appear on our screens was during the queen’s speech on Christmas Day.
Whether shunning such vulgar publicity increased the magic and majesty of the monarchy or made them an out-of-touch and anachronistic ruling clan is a moot point.
What is not in doubt, however, is that these days royal protocol on video clips has changed utterly, and thus a certain weary familiarity descends today upon the launch of a comedy short film starring Prince Harry and musician Ed Sheeran.
Whether you find it funny or a cringeworthy attempt at accessibility is also somewhat moot.
It is being distributed to the masses via the Sussex Royal Instagram account (of course) and has been made in support of World Mental Health Day.
The short film starts with Ed getting his beard trimmed and saying: “Really excited today. Going to film with Prince Harry who contacted me about doing a charity idea with him, which is going to be good. I’ve long admired him… from afar. I guess I’ll see you there!”
It then cuts to Sheeran ringing a door bell, which plays the British national anthem God Save the Queen, as Harry opens the door to the singer.
They are both dressed in identical clothes and Harry says: “It’s like looking in the mirror.”
Prince Harry then says “For me, this is a subject of a conversation that’s not talked about enough. I think people all over the world are really suffering.”
As they talk about how they can help, Sheeran says excitedly: “That’s exactly what I’m trying to do—people don’t understand what it’s like for people like us.”
Harry looks at him quizzically, and Sheeran continues: “With the jokes and the snide comments. I just feel like it’s time we stood up and said: ‘We’re not going to take this any more. We’re ginger, and we’re going to fight.’”
Prince Harry does his best confused face before saying: “This may be miscommunication, but this is about World Mental Health Day.”
“I knew that,” replies Sheeran, as he is seen hastily deleting the title of a document that reads “Gingers Unite” from his laptop.
Funny stuff over, the video cuts to Harry sitting on a sofa with Ed, saying: “Guys, this Mental Health Day, reach out, make sure your friends, strangers; look out for anyone who may suffer in silence. We’re all in this together.”
Very amusing, we are sure you’ll agree.