However, while lots of serious and painful issues were raised by Meghan and Harry, both expressed fondness and “respect” for the Queen – Harry’s grandmother.
It’s got us thinking about our own grans, and how truly great they can be.
There’s something uniquely special in the relationship we have with our grandparents. They’ve got a lifetime of lived experience under their belts (or butter-smeared aprons), they’ve relaxed the rules since raising their own kids, and they’re full of quirks (especially if, like us, you grew up in the Eighties and early-Nineties).
Whether our grannies and nans are still with us, or have long since passed, many of us have a bank of treasured memories thanks to them. Here’s 13 reasons we adore our grans…
1. Their house had its own set of rulesWe weren’t allowed fizzy drinks at home (unless it was someone’s birthday party). But grandma’s house had its own set of rules, and cups of fizzy pop were in ready supply.
2. Their sweetie stashGrandmas are a wise breed, and one of their unique wisdoms was knowing never to leave the house without a stash of boiled sweets or lollipops in their handbag, ready to whip out whenever the need arises. Firm favourites were Chocolate Limes, Mint Humbugs and, of course, Werther’s Originals.
3. Teaching us to knitSitting down with our nans while she taught us how to knit was mindfulness in action, long before it became a wellbeing buzzword.
4. They let us raid the biscuit tin
Biscuits were also a guarded commodity in everyday life at home for many of us. Granny always had a well-stocked biscuit tin – and wasn’t the best at hiding it.
5. The best car journey companionsLong car journeys as a kid were a never-ending brain-numbing bore fest – unless you were in the car with your nan. Singalongs, Eye-spy, the first to spot a green car – no one knows how to jazz up a journey like grans.
6. Birthday moneyAll kids love ripping open presents, but when granny sends a birthday card with pound coins sellotaped to the inside? Or a fiver if you were really flush? That was the height of excitement. So grown up!
7. Sandwich queensA balanced meal at granny’s house was a law unto its own. Nothing beats a good sandwich – especially when grandma’s in charge. Crisps were a winner. Or good old lemon curd. Or – the ultimate – butter and a generous sprinkling of sugar.
8. The best dressing-up box additions
If your granny was young in the Sixties and Seventies, you can bet she had some super-glam dresses in her wardrobe – which made for the best hand-me-downs ever. Our dressing-up boxes were a dream.
9. Their homemade bakes
Even if your granny wasn’t that skilled a baker, there’s something immeasurably soothing about their homemade cakes and creations. Who cares if those jam tarts could crack teeth? They’re familiar, always in ready supply, and made with love.
10. Gardening gurus
Got a question about plant care? Ask your gran. Wondering what the flower is? Nan will know.
11. Their rebellious streakBy the time you’re a granny, you’ve been around the block a few times and know what’s what – and with this comes a delightful naughty streak. A visit to a café was always an opportunity to stock up that jar of sugar sachets she kept in the kitchen.
12. Christmas capersIf nan was on your team for the quiz or charades at Christmas, you were probably going to lose – but you’d definitely have an absolute hoot (especially if she’d just topped up her sherry).
13. Knowing just what to sayGot a hangover? Must have been “bad ice”, as granny would say. Got your heart broken? Sometimes a soothing “oh dear”, a pot of tea, with the biscuit tin plonked on the table, really is all you need.