BEFORE I begin this column I should be fully open about being a republican.

If it was my choice, after the Queen dies, I would replace the UK’s monarchy with a republic and an elected head of state.

I know I am in the minority with that long held opinion. The many polls on the subject over the years have seen a majority in favour of the monarchy, and I respect that.

However, it doesn’t stop me arguing the case that the money spent on the Royal Family would be better used elsewhere. The other argument I have often heard is that it is vital we keep the Royal Family, due to the tourism and money they bring into the country.

But if the Royal Family didn’t exist, people would still want to come to visit the UK.

In weeks like this ahead of a Royal Wedding I’m usually just indifferent to all the coverage, while others are getting widely excited.

I should make it clear I wish Harry and Meghan well like I would anyone else getting married. It’s the ancient institution I’m against, not the individuals themselves.

This time the coverage has been a little different as focus has shifted to Meghan’s father Thomas, so for once I have took some notice of what's been going on. Mr Markle has been slammed for allegedly staging pictures for a paparazzi photographer, including being measured for a wedding suit and looking at newspaper stories about his daughter.

Mr Markle is reported to have said that he did not want to cause his daughter embarrassment by attending the wedding and, as it stands when I write this, he won’t be walking her down the aisle.

It appears this was a man completely caught out by the media attention that fell upon him, and he was totally unprepared.

Undoubtedly he made a bad choice getting involved with a photo agency scam. But does he really deserve all the criticism and humiliation?

Meghan knew what she was signing up for, but her family are just being dragged into the media circus that surrounds the institution now.

Do people really care about her family that much? What even is the point of all the coverage about the Markles - I just don’t get it.

Mind you, I have never understood any of the fascination with the Royal Family.