Only a curmudgeon could not feel pleased for the happy couple: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have got engaged. After all, finding love is one of the key determiners of a human being’s happiness.

Whether, however, that justifies wall-to-wall media coverage at a time when the world seems in turmoil is a different matter.

At least they have everything going for them: a luxury home, a sizeable, guaranteed income from the British taxpayer and millions of pounds to fall back on.

Besides, Prince Harry and his fiancée can trust the British public to support them and, indeed, the existence of the monarchy as a whole. According to a 2015 Yougov poll more than six in ten of us (62 per cent) believe Britain will still have a king or queen in 100 years’ time. Over seven in ten (71 per cent) of adults believe the British monarchy should remain, with less than a fifth (18 per cent) saying we should have an elected head of state instead.

However, the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms Markle does raise some difficult questions about the value we place on love in Austerity Britain.

First, some context. Back in 2012, immigration rules were introduced under the then-Home Secretary Theresa May to set a minimum earnings threshold of £18,600 for UK citizens to bring a non-EEA spouse or partner to live here with them. The intention was to avoid immigrants (like Ms Markle, who is a US citizen) from being a burden on the taxpayer, because they would be able to support themselves.

On the surface, this may seem reasonable. After all, we have been told over and over that Britain - the 6th richest nation in the world - must drastically limit who we support. That the coffers are empty post-2008 and that someone must pay the price.

Hence the bedroom tax then Universal Credit, cutting the benefit entitlement of hundreds of thousands of UK citizens. Hence the fact that 1.2 million Britons visited a food bank last year in order to put a meal on the table. Not to mention, the stringent (and hated) Work Capability Assessment which has removed benefits from large numbers of disabled or sick people who are then arbitrarily dubbed ‘fit for work’.

What, you might ask, has this to do with Prince Harry and his betrothed? His family is among the wealthiest in the whole world.

While everyone wishes them well, it does feel deeply unfair that poorer human beings’ opportunities to settle down together and start a family are all too often restricted in the UK, frequently because of limited access to suitable housing.

The Migration Observatory in Oxford estimates that 40 per cent of Britons in full or part-time employment don’t earn enough to meet the £18,600 threshold, narrowing the marriage choices of a significant proportion of the population. And the income requirement doesn’t just disadvantage minimum wage earners, but also the young, women and those with caring responsibilities, who are less likely to meet the threshold.

But what price should be set on love? Indeed, is it appropriate to restrict a couple’s chance for a fulfilling married life, including children?

An example illustrates the dilemma. Imagine an ex-soldier who fought for his country in, say, Afghanistan, but now finds he can only get minimum wage work, as is all too often the case. He wants to bring in an American fiancée but is barred by the £18,600 threshold. The benefits to the nation of their long term family life surely outweigh any short term disadvantages for the taxpayer.

The choice of who you marry should be free and open to all citizens, not just a privileged section of the population. When, this coming May, you watch Prince Harry and Ms Markle showered with confetti and good wishes at their fairy tale wedding in Windsor Castle, spare a thought for those just as deserving of happiness who find themselves priced out of romance.

Love should be the most democratic of opportunities. It is the basis on which our future communities will be built - by children, couples, extended networks of family and friends, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, for its own precious sake.