IN the 1980s and 1990s, as the “War of the Walseses” waged, there was widespread amazement at how dysfunctional the British royal family was as the public became aware that, due to their nannies and boarding schools, its members were unable to express their real emotions.

There was a hope that a new generation, led by William and Harry, the sons of the super-emotional Diana, might enable the family to break out of its stultifying traditions and become real.

Yet now we learn that Harry, on a three day visit to the UK to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Invictus games, is not going to visit his father because of “His Majesty’s full programme”.

However full the king’s diary might be, surely 10 minutes could have been found at the end of a garden party for a quick chat, particularly given the concerns Harry must have over his 75-year-old father’s health.

By and large, even though the royal family are an anachronism, the British people want it to succeed and to be a positive representation of the country. The genetic selection model is flawed, but the democratic approach also has its drawbacks – who could possibly want someone like Donald Trump to be the embodiment of a nation?

But now we are plunging back into another psychodrama of who is snubbing who.

The public want the royals to put aside egos, to be supportive of one another and to put Britain in the best light possible, not having it portrayed as a place of family feuds where a son has to go through a diary secretary to meet his own father.