Now I’m not a Monarchist – ever since the Queen refused to invite us in for afternoon tea at Windsor when my wife Ann and I called in. That being said, I do like and respect the Queen for how she’s carried out her duties – sure there was the hideous misstep when Diana died, which rather gave the game away in terms of self-belief of position etc, but overall, she plays the role well. I only hope, which of course she won’t, she’s written a tell-all memoir, it would, I think, be a devastating killer diplomatically.
Back to Diana’s death. It’s always been rather obvious you don’t fuck with City Hall, Diana did and indirectly, it killed her. The Monarchy is a very British Royal / Aristocracy club – you may be invited to come for dinner, or a quick root, but you will NEVER be given full membership.
I think the reason Charles was ‘directed to’ Diana, is the Family knew full well, inbreeding was rearing its fatal head.
Now it’s not all the Family’s fault – the pressure from media, government and society is incredible and the old safeguards protecting the royal family from prying media have long gone. The media lies, doctors and photoshops everything possible about the royal family, in what is a multi billion dollar industry – witness Charles telling Camilla in what he assumed was a private encrypted conversation, that he wanted to be her tampon back in the 1990s. Only a few years before that, any reporter and editor would have expected banishment forever, a hundred years ago, beheading. The mystic is gone – it was still there with Princess Margaret during her wild philandering days, it was still there with the G&T Queen Mother, but our world changed. An example of the change is to think of President Kennedy – ‘everyone’ knew he was screwing the pants off any good looking woman he came across (if you’ll excuse the pun), but nothing was said publicly. Thirty years later, they were impeaching a President for a blow job under the desk.
Birthright? Perhaps Dylan has the best description – A Simple Twist of Fate. Who we are, where we are born – country, silver spoon, poverty, skin colour, we have no say, no choice. We arrive in a sterile hospital room, or a blanket in a tent under a desert tree, helpless in every way. Your circumstance is something you accept as a child, whether it’s poverty, wealth, a royal family, religious discrimination (male or female), or abuse by a Catholic priest. For most of us, it’s not until we reach our teens, that we seriously question taught belief systems and express genuine doubts about our circumstances, indeed for most of us, those formative years are just that – they form the prison of our beliefs and comfort systems for years. Even violence can sadly become comfortable as an insane form of stability.
So we have two young boys who’ve lost their mum twice – once as she’s shunned by the Palace and finally when she dies in the sordid Paris car crash. It was a train wreck and still is. For those of us old enough to remember the footage, whatever your thoughts on the monarchy, the sight of those two boys walking behind their mum’s carriage was and still is, gut wrenching.
Anyone who has been part of a blended family, in whatever role, knows how fraught with difficulty it all is, the path is exhausting for everyone. How much more difficult would that be for two teenagers in the British Royal Family spotlight?
One of those boys, William, at least had some sort of a future career path mapped out – he would / will be King one day, but Harry would have realised he was forever destined to open flower shows and do nothing without Palace approval.
People are pointing out the differences between Harry and William as if to say Harry got it all wrong. What arrogant, unfeeling nonsense. Most of us have brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, grandkids, they’re all different, all marching to a different drum and we learn to love and appreciate them for who they are.
William always struck me as being as boring as bat shit, but a thoroughly decent bloke, who’s perfect for the role of future King and his wife appears to have been the perfect choice. They’ve produced the prerequisite heirs, now they just have to keep opening hospitals and flower shows, until Charles either steps off the perch, or the British public make it obvious,they won’t accept Charles as replacement for Elizabeth – if I put my PR hat on, my advice to The Family, if they want to remain relevant, would be for Charles to gracefully stand aside when the Queen passes on and allow William to become King.
Charles of course, has a sister and brothers, of whom we hear (from a commonwealth country perspective), very little, they are seemingly stuck in some groundhog routine of opening fetes and attending charity functions, all very laudable, but I think it would drive most of us mad. Worse. You’re born into it, you do your best to play the role / your assigned part and daily, the press and social media rip you apart as a leech on the public purse, if you so much as fart, it will be headlines, if not two monthly editions of some supermarket magazine,
Let us then consider ourselves in relation to our parents – are we the same people? Do we have the same belief systems – politically, religiously? What if Harry has done his best, but reached the conclusion that it’s nonsense and he doesn’t believe in a monarchy? Of course, he would still love his grandma and his family, but could he go on living a lie? Could you or I?
What if it was his uncle Andrew who finally ‘broke the camel’s back’/ What if he thought, “Christ, one more tawdry dickhead I’m supposed to smile in photos with. I just want to be with my wife and baby and earn an honest quid. I just have to get out of this.”
Something happened before Christmas, which brought this all to a head. I still think it would have happened, but not in such an obvious rush and I come back to Andrew’s fall from grace. The fallout also seems to have been with his father – tellingly, there are no words of affection or love for his father, plenty for the Queen and the family, England and his genuinely beloved military. Harry’s Invictus Games is a stand out of decency and compassion, something all governments lack when it comes to injured defence force personnel.
And don’t we love to hate a strong woman! Diana we loved, with her doe eyes, caught in the spotlight look, all while she was playing her own game of survival. Meghan has the temerity to be different – I mean, she’s a woman of colour and an actress! Can anyone imagine what it would have been like for her in the Palace, where every word, look, or dress has to be approved by the very people who in all probability didn’t approve of her? It doesn’t take much to imagine advisers telling the Queen and Charles that it didn’t really matter if Harry married a black American divorcee, as he’d never be King. What the hell has Meghan Markle ever done to deserve the snide odium?
Harry’s decided to get out. He doesn’t want to live off the public purse, his escape will take a little time, but he’s determined. I think that’s admirable. I like them both, I think they are the future, and an excellent example of a hard working couple to younger generations.