Rudely but accurately referred to as The Spare, Prince Harry fails to embarrass himself or the British Monarchy by “revelations” that barely warrant the description of footnotes. No doubt encouraged by his wife’s American inclination to first inflate and then explode Celebrity, he certainly justifies criticism of his education, upbringing and lifetime compass. But then few of us have been educated adequately, brought up properly or given a realistic moral compass. That is why we live so long – it takes all that time to supplement the early failures.
Explaining exactly what the monarchy is must have been a nightmare during a period of great stability, dutifully handled by Queen Elizabeth II, and unprecedented social turmoil stirred by her many governments and their electors. The British admire ‘unchanging’ for good reasons. Life was not meant to be static but nor, they suspect, was it meant to be lived on an isolationist, nuclear-threatened, digitised racetrack being fought over by Democracy and Autocracy. Perhaps they had already discovered that life is for living, even before Covid told the rest of the world.
Small wonder, then, that Prince Harry has had a confused time searching, as people in his sort of position so often do, for a place in society he will probably never get and an independence he cannot quite define. Sad that the path he is now incoherently treading leads to disappointment of the kind his great uncle had to live with for many years of his life. All is not lost. America loves the British Royal Family with its quirky traditions and inexplicable complexities. It is, for them, a soap opera that leaves Dallas, Neighbours and the Kardashians floundering. It blends unbelievable real life with credible fantasy.
Try getting that into your autobiography.
To make a serious issue of Prince Harry’s somewhat off-piste behaviour is to fall into the trap that he, or someone very close to him, has so carefully set. For every Emperor there must be a Charlie Chaplin, a figure quivering between invention and reality. For every Monarch there must be a Mischief Maker, someone to lighten the pompous ritual that ensures endurance.
We wish Prince Harry a long and happy life – and beg him not to take it all too seriously.
It is not his role to do so.
If you have a not-too-serious view of the situation please tell us at email@example.com or just drop me a line. Life is for laughter, too.
9 January 2023