Tag Archives: royalty

More Harry Please!

Spare me.

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.

Image courtesy of BBC

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.

Image courtesy of BBC

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.

Photo by Andrew Milligan

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.

Image courtesy of CNN

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.

Markle’s Sparkle … Or, Maybe not so Much

Ahead of Oprah’s big interview of Harry and Meghan, I have to say that I’m kind of tired of hearing about them and their so-called issues. It’s getting irritating.

Well, maybe there are issues, but really, are they that bad? Bad enough that after carrying on endlessly about privacy and media intrusion, they go to the absolute biggest doyen of celebrity journalism, Oprah Winfrey, to “tell their truth.” Am I missing something here, or isn’t that inviting more attention? Are they now invading their own privacy?

Meghan

Queen Elizabeth II of the UK is also queen of Canada, and Harry is her grandson, so as a Canadian, I think I can chat about this. After all, when they first escaped the British Royal Family, they hid out on Vancouver Island, and as I understand it, were for the most part unbothered by the media. Locals apparently tried their best to hide their location, and to be as unhelpful as possible to any paparazzi or other prying types.

But soon thereafter, they headed to the US, a country that Meghan said she would never set foot in while Trump was still president. Interesting. They played around with using their royal status to make money. They cut very lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify, all the while releasing communiques about charity and public service and telling people how to live. Really, what qualifications do either of them have for telling people how to live?

By any measure, Meghan, a very cute but third-rate actress, has done very well out of her royal connections. Would she be making these deals if she were one of Harry’s ex-girlfriends? Unlikely.

Queen Elizabeth II of Canada

Which leads me to what I think happened with those two while they were still in UK. I think they wanted to run the show, so to speak. Playing second fiddle to Kate and William (for the rest of their lives!) was just not very palatable. Following royal protocols and doing what a 94 year-old woman wanted them to do was just not in their wheelhouse. Having the agenda set for them was just not their cup of tea.

So, they decided to leave. I admire them for that. If you don’t like the song, gather up your courage and change the channel. But what I find rather off-putting, aside from their seeming inability to stay out of the media spotlight, (if they really wanted privacy, all they had to do was stay on Vancouver Island or another place like it) is the way they did it. In my, well, unimportant opinion, they glow with hypocrisy.

I don’t doubt, not for a second, that they have legitimate complaints. But I think it’s probably a two-way street. And no matter which way you cut it, these two are amazingly privileged (mostly because of royal connections). So while most of the rest of us think about vaccines, masks, the economy, and how to get our kids through online high school, to say nothing of how we can help those who are less well off during this pandemic, these two are wallowing. Shouldn’t they be happy that they have done so well and gotten what they wanted?

Apparently not. One of the interview ads suggests that Harry is going to compare Meghan (and their situation) to Diana’s. Meghan accuses “the firm” of lying about them. So it seems that they are going to do some major bashing, going all the way back to the death of Harry’s mother.

Why would they feel they need to do this to a 94 year-old woman whose 99 year-old husband is in the hospital? For a couple who says that one of their missions of service is the development of compassion, this doesn’t seem very compassionate.

So, here’s what seems to be the reality. Harry and Meghan are very privileged people who are extracting further privilege out of the fact that they are connected to a very privileged institution. To me, doing an interview at the expense of Harry’s elderly grandparents (setting aside that they are at the head of the royal family) makes them look kind of mean, and more than a little self-centred.

While I’m sure they have issues with “the firm” I have no doubt that “the firm” has issues with them. Most things in life are not as one-sided as these two are trying to insist, including a completely saintly Diana or a completely villainous Charles.

Wild about Harry?

These two were given every opportunity to do what they wanted; now they should shut up, do it, stop whining and while they’re at it, drop the whole title bit (how can you continue to complain about the royal family when you keep using a royal title to facilitate your climb to the top?). He says, “Call me Harry.” She says, “Call me Meghan.” Harry and Meghan Windsor – maybe they should really follow through on that. It would certainly improve their credibility, especially in a country that threw out the monarchy a long time ago.

Meghan is no Diana, no matter how much Harry tries to say that she is. Meghan strikes me as a big-time toughie (isn’t acting a pretty tough gig?); Diana was much more vulnerable. I really can’t feature Meghan being chased to death by paparazzi, or some other similar scenario.

Meghan has been accused of bullying by some of her former employees, and I have no doubt there’s truth to it. On the other hand, has Meghan had to deal with racially motivated criticism? I have no doubt that there’s truth to that, too. All I have to do is think about that horrible Piers Morgan and the vindictive way he talks about her to see that there is, indeed, truth to it.

But what they are about to do is probably very unwise. It’s something that they will never be able to take back; a very public airing of their problems and issues. To me, this is totally unnecessary. They have already made their point with their feet. What’s the use of rubbing salt in the wound? Are they trying to bring down the royal family? Cause their demise? Actually, they’re probably just trying to be right, and a lot of wrong has been done in the name of trying to be right.

Kate and William

Almost certainly, Meghan will cry or be teary-eyed during this interview, but I don’t think she really has all that much to cry about; they will wring themselves out for the public, to get “their version out there.” But why does their “version” need to be “out there?” If they cared about their privacy, they wouldn’t need the public to know. It all just sounds like they are trying to persuade the public, especially the American public, of how awful the royal family is and how badly they have been treated.

The public’s opinion is clearly very important to them, and they feel they need to do some convincing. But their actions have already spoken much louder than their words. Can’t they continue that approach and earn the good opinion of the public through their hard work? They keep saying they are committed to public service; why don’t they just start doing that?

These two are rich and famous and living in one of the priciest and most exclusive areas of the US. They are about to release an interview that may contain something important (support for Black Lives Matter, maybe, or other important movements?) but more likely, is going to contain drivel, and spun in a way that attempts to make them look like saints and the royal family look like devils on speed.

As for me, I’m royalled out. Ms Markle has lost her sparkle. I am not going to watch their interview. I am going to try to avoid reading about them or other royal types. The only royal I want to see is the picture of Elizabeth on the 20 dollar bill. And frankly, when Elizabeth passes on, I would like to see the end of monarchy in Canada.

The bottom line is that in the scheme of things, these two just aren’t that important, not unless they really do something to change that. They are second-fiddle chairs in an outdated orchestra that’s struggling to find relevance in the modern world. They say they have “stepped back” from that orchestra, but in the end, what does that even mean? I’m just not seeing it. Do you?