I didn’t think I would write about Harry again, but here I am. It’s like I have indigestion and have to, um, bring him up once more.
I haven’t read his book and won’t. I haven’t watched his and Meghan’s apparently exhaustive documentary and won’t. I haven’t listened to her podcasts and won’t. When, I wonder, will they decide to “won’t?”
The fact that I haven’t watched, read or listened to any of their “truth” should have kept me safe, but nope. I can’t read a paper, look at the tv or log in to Netflix without feeling inundated by them. Everywhere you look, Harry is flogging his book. I already feel like I’ve I read it because it has been so hard to avoid.
It seems that Spare can be boiled down to a number of crucial events: Harry and William had a physical fight. All of his relatives dish dirt on him and Meghan to the media. Camilla is a dangerous villain. Kate made Meghan cry (apparently sobbing on the floor). Charles doesn’t love him. He froze his pecker. He did drugs and drank a lot. He killed a lot of people in Afghanistan. William is going bald.
On and on it goes, this somewhat bizarre collection of grievances that for the most part cannot be proven, but here’s my interpretation of all these breathless excerpts: Harry is a very angry, self-righteous, uber-privileged boy-man who is using his supposedly most hated institution, the media, to lob reprisals against and make money off telling stories about his family. His philosophy seems to boil down to this: trash the old life (including all the people in it) in order to finance the new life. And not just any new life; it has to be a moneyed, rarefied life.
He says he’s had a lot of therapy, but it apparently hasn’t translated into any sort of empathy for anyone other than, one presumes, Meghan and his children. And his statement that Meghan deserves an apology? For what, exactly? And from whom? From the tabloids? Charles and William? Kate?
To be fair, I agree that Meghan was treated brutally by a UK tabloid press that criticised her no matter what she did or didn’t do, and that at least some of it was rabidly racial. Given that situation, Harry and Meghan made a reasonable decision to walk away and lead a more regular, private life. The problem, though, is that they didn’t. They smear – and keep smearing – themselves everywhere to try to make stacks of money.
I also agree that, while Harry – in common with many, many others – lost a parent under tragic circumstances when he was a child, few others have had to march behind their mother’s coffin in front of millions; a heartbroken child on display in front of the world. Wherever that decision came from, it was callous and cruel, for both Harry and William.
On the other side of what’s leaking out of Harry’s book, I don’t know of any brothers who haven’t had some sort of fight, either physical or verbal or both. However, that his family, and particularly Camilla, is in collusion with the tabloids to dish dirt on him and Meghan just sounds peculiar. I don’t believe that Charles doesn’t love him. According to Harry’s own words, Charles used to leave little notes on Harry’s pillow, encouraging him and expressing his affection. Is that what an uncaring father does? And his pecker? Oy. Frozen or not, do the rest of us need to know that or about his extensive use of drugs and alcohol? And the Oedipal references to putting one of his mother’s favourite creams on his penis? I’m lost for words.
Additionally, as a combat veteran, I take serious exception to his nonchalant and boastfully airy description of his “kills” as “chess pieces.” Not only is that a safety risk, but it’s just breathtakingly inappropriate. Appalling, really. Harry is a very privileged person who is trying to be some sort of war victim. He’s not. During my time in a combat zone, I saw many victims. Victims of violence, of sexual assault, of murder, and of dispossession of all kinds. Those people are victims, and Harry should know that. In common with other veterans, my advice to him is to shut up. Now.
And that nasty balding that William keeps doing? Well, no words can describe the depths to which Harry will go, apparently, to criticise his brother. Doesn’t Harry’s negative commentary about William’s hair loss sound an awful lot like what happened to Meghan? Her skin colour, her ethnicity, her person, being criticised?
Although Harry claims that he wants to get on with his family, I doubt that anyone in that family will trust him ever again. I certainly wouldn’t. I would be very concerned about having any kind of conversation or connection with him for fear that it might wind up in a book. The irony is that despite Harry’s obsession around invasion of privacy, he has seemingly divulged deeply personal information about his family and himself. He violates his own privacy as well as the privacy of others; he certainly didn’t get their permission and lot of what he has apparently divulged comes across as libellous. Is he any better than the tabloid press that he hates so much?
All families have issues. The British Royal family (which is also the royal family of Canada; I’m not happy with having to have a King Charles, ugh) has the garden-variety issues on top of a whole host of other issues generated by their weird but privileged position. But the idea of flogging those issues in order to finance a rarefied life just sounds greedy and vindictive. Is this Harry’s truth? Maybe. The words “truth,” and “fact” have taken an awful beating lately. The best that can be said is that these are Harry’s interpretations and opinions; the worst is that he and Meghan are running a sort of slow motion faked-reality tv show: trash for cash.
I also find it odd that despite all the Royal family bashing, Meghan and Harry run around calling themselves “duke” and “duchess,” and are apparently moaning about not having titles for their children. Huh? Don’t you live in the U.S.? Didn’t the Americans throw all that crap out a long time ago? And anyway, why would they want to keep this silly title stuff bestowed by an organisation that they seemingly don’t like and crossed an ocean to escape? How can they continue to trade on these titles while attempting to belittle the institution that provided them in the first place? Yikes.
Still, I feel kind of sorry for Harry. I think that his “truth” is the only thing he has to sell, and people are getting tried of hearing it. What’s left for this pair then? Images of his great-uncle, a former king who also married an American, left in a decades-long useless limbo, spring to mind. Because once their story, Harry’s story, is told, nothing is left. They both lack the heft of a substantial set of achievements to underpin themselves, and those deals they’ve made with Spotify and Netflix will eventually run out.
If Harry and Meghan had dropped their titles and left the UK to live quietly and privately somewhere else, there would be a lot of support and respect for them, I think. But they really have squandered the goodwill that many people offered them, unfortunately. And on that note, I wish them good luck, because I think they’re going to need it, especially Harry.