IF it wasn’t for the fashion photographer and the beautifully-lit sombre expressions, Harry and Meghan’s private visit to a cemetery to pay tribute to fallen Commonwealth soldiers may have been quite touching.

Having exited his royal post this year, the Duke of Sussex was notably absent at last Sunday’s Remembrance service at the Whitehall Cenotaph. But, with his 10 years of Army service and close affiliation with the military community, Prince Harry was clearly moved to pay tribute to the war dead. And that’s fine, if it had been a private, low key affair.

But when he and Meghan arrived at Los Angeles National Cemetery, a place they appeared to have to themselves on Remembrance Sunday, with a high profile snapper in tow, and a large wreath made of flowers from the garden of their $14.7 million Santa Barbara mansion, it all seemed a bit staged.

You could argue that the couple are damned if they do and damned if they don’t - if they hadn’t placed a wreath on Remembrance Sunday no doubt they’d have come under fire from critics - but surely there are more sensitive ways of marking such an occasion without releasing professionally shot pictures that wouldn’t look out of place in a glossy magazine.

War cemeteries are places for private mourning and tokens of respect, not photo-shoots to promote a multi-million dollar global brand. And it did all seem rather regal for a couple so determined to drop their royal titles in favour of a more ‘normal’ life.

Photographs like these don’t just magically appear on Insta. There is someone there, in the room (or the cemetery) taking a series of pictures that will then be carefully selected before being made public. Such photos often make for unsettling viewing, and to be honest, I don’t really want to see other people’s private grief.

Last month American singer John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen lost their baby during pregnancy and took to Instagram to announce their heartbreaking news. I felt uncomfortable with the images they posted, of them clinging to each other and holding their baby, grief-stricken, on a hospital bed shortly after going through one of the worst things anyone can experience.

Seeing those images, which were subsequently shown on TV, felt like prying on an intensely private moment. And I couldn’t help thinking there must have been someone there with them, at this awful time, clicking away with a camera, photographing their pain.

You might say these powerful images could help others going through a similar experience, but really? Does this kind of intrusion into someone else’s grief really help?

I feel the same when I see photos people post online of themselves in hospital - ghoulish selfies hooked up to drips and wires. “Look at poor, brave me. And don’t forget to like me,” scream these snapshots of private moments, airbrushed and filtered for public approval.