Prince Harry could make a bonza king for Australia

There'll be tea towels and tea cups. We'll stay up late watching them wed at Windsor, and then, not long after, there'll be their first royal tour Down Under.

And we'll go crazy all over again.

And sometime after that his granny will die and we'll be sad, for a while, but then, then the great debate will start.

We love the royals and the reaction to the news of Prince Harry's engagement to the actress Meghan Markle​ suggests we still regard them in some way as "ours".

But when the Queen's reign ends, will Australia really want to drop the knee to that ageing lothario Prince Charles – rebranded though he might be as King George VII – or decide to seize the moment and declare ourselves finally and truly free? With our own head of state, who lives here and brings up his or her children here, not on the other side of the world?

But must an independent Australia be an Australian republic with an elected Australian president sitting, cherry-like, on the tippity-top?

Democracy has its drawbacks. Give the voters a chance and you never know what, or who, you'll end up with. Sad. But true.

A republic might well be the choice of the experts, but it seems to me a bit grubby, a touch hasty, a little lacking in grandeur. And then there's the danger of the people handing the top job to some clown from a TV reality show.

Me, I kind of like the pomp and certainty that a hereditary monarch brings.

I know it's unegalitarian, and elitist, and passed-on privilege is wrong, wrong, wrong, but you can't help but admire the mystique, the awe and all that bling. The lavish coronations. The gilded carriages. The anointing with holy chrism. The whole shebang. We might not want to be ruled from London but can't we have our cake and eat it too?

Why not have a king and queen of an independent Australia?

We'd need to import them though. Our patrician PM might have reasonable breeding but I'm not sure that King Malcolm would be quite the go. Nor for that matter would Queen Gina. I say we give the gig to someone who knows what they're doing. Someone with the pedigree. Someone who's got that regal wave down pat.

Copenhagen might be a good place to start. The Danish royal family have got form, as we've seen. And the fragrant Crown Princess Mary is one of our own. One of her four kids might fit the bill. They've got a grandad in Hobart after all.

But what about the obvious man for the job?

Our perfect prince, Harry. He seems like our kind of a king-to-be. Strong profile (ideal for stamps and coins), has cut ribbons and pinned on medals and is possessed of a larrikin nature. Looks good in uniform. 

Not that I know either of them you understand, but HRH and Ms Markle seem like a nice couple – sporty, outdoorsy, both actively interested in helping the poor of the world.

But sadly, in stuffy old England, the name Princess Meghan might sound a little bit Princess Barbie. And life as a royal wife is hard enough for English gels, so goodness knows how Britain's hidebound and hoary establishment will treat an older, mixed-race, divorced, Californian television actress. And you've got to admit, Meghan and Harry doesn't sound that posh, does it?

But here? Down here in egalitarian Oz? Well now you're talking. Megs and Hazza? They'd fit right in.

Richard Hughes, Fairfax Media