Prince Harry, my 35-year honeymoon with you is over. Next to the queen, you were this Anglophile’s favorite royal. I supported you when you went public with your private grief. I cheered you when you married for love. I even tentatively supported you when you and Meghan announced you were “stepping back” as senior British royals and wanted to become financially independent of the firm, as it’s called.
But the magic’s gone. The pair of you come across as narcissistic, self-pitying, childish and whiny.
My disillusionment began after reports that you flew your personal chef on a private jet to your family holiday in Ibiza. It’s bad enough that you and Meghan are climate change activists, and you fly in private jets at all. I get that you’re too famous to fly on commercial planes and that it’s a security risk for you, Meghan and the other passengers. But you don’t need to fly your personal chef to Ibiza, on any kind of jet. (Is there something wrong with the cooks on Ibiza?) It appeared needlessly extravagant, out-of-touch and tone deaf.
Now you’ve fled the country of your royal birth with your bride and relocated to L.A. by way of Vancouver. (As an aside, what a year you picked to put down roots in America huh?) After your ill-conceived efforts to market products under the Sussex “brand” fell apart (thank you, QE II), you two seem to be lost.
Reports have surfaced that you’re trying to be professional activists, commanding $1 million in speaking fees—a privilege that’s usually reserved for former presidents of the United States. Even cutting a lucrative deal with Netflix to produce and star in programming—although apparently not, contrary to some reports, a reality show. That would be beyond the pale—especially since the Royal Family is, let’s face it, pretty much one giant, millennium-long reality show.
Then there’s the thorny issue of politics. British royals are not supposed to express opinions on much of anything beyond the weather, especially not politics. That’s a major no-no. They’re expected to exist on a plane above the rest of us rabble. They’re not even allowed to urge the commonfolk to vote, in Britain or anywhere else. Once a royal, even an estranged royal, dips their foot into politics, there’s no going back.
Which brings me to Meghan. You’ve got to hand it to her. Here is a politically outspoken California girl who became an actress, starred on a cable network TV series, met a foreign prince and had a fairytale royal wedding in a foreign land, televised to millions around the world. It was played as a Cinderella story.
Except in two years’ time she ended up right back in sunny L.A., in a $14 million house, as politically active as ever, and kept her prince. No dreary, rainy Britain for this American-born duchess. And no boring royal duties. How does that work? I’d like to get me some of that. I’m sure the late Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, even Kate Middleton, would too.
Grace Kelly, a bona fide Hollywood star who left behind a spectacularly successful acting career to marry a European prince, adopted her new country as her permanent home and never looked back. Granted, hers was a kingdom just as sunny and warm as Hollywood so it probably made it easier. It was also a time before the Internet and 24-hour news coverage. But it was an earlier generation and wives had different roles then.
It seems to me that royal life, with its stifling restrictions, was the worst possible calling for a woman of Meghan’s background and personality.
Harry my boy, you had better really hope your marriage works out. Which I’m not saying it won’t. You may have a long, happy union. But if it goes south, things could become really awkward for you. You have no college education and no job skills that I’m aware of beyond flying helicopters in the military and being a prince. You’re a fish out of water in L.A. Maybe the Royal Marines would take you back. If you get entwined in American politics, things will be extra awkward if you try to go back to the royal family.
Rumor has it that there’s a rift between you and Prince William, that your wives don’t get along. Maybe you could patch things up if you were single again. Some say that Edward VIII ultimately regretted his decision to renounce his royal title and marry his American divorcee. This never seems to go well for you guys. We American women are too independent-minded and nonconformist.
Harry, I always loved you because you were the sexy, bad-boy royal. Now you’re prematurely balding like your father, you seem henpecked, and your dull older bro and his future queen are looking better to me all the time.