'Harry and Meghan can't have their royal cake and eat it' says Ross Clark

A man who had suffered the trauma of ­losing his mother at the age of 12 and who had gone through awkward years of hedonistic partying seemed to have grown up to combine a commitment to public duty with a sensitivity lacking in many other royals. What a long time ago that seems now. The announcement by him and the Duchess of Sussex that they want to try to create a “progressive new role” within the Royal Family, seeking financial independence and dividing their time between Britain and Canada, threatens to undermine all the good work that the couple did in their early months of married life.

Surely Harry should have realised the damage he was doing by making this announcement without the Queen’s blessing.

Wiser heads than Harry and Meghan would have spotted at once that what they are attempting to do comes across more as a corporate brand relaunch than the act of someone in high public office.

Harry’s failure to seek his grandmother’s advice is all the more astonishing when you read the brazen fashion in which the Duke and Duchess have used her name in their attempted relaunch.

“Her Majesty serves as a symbol of unity and national pride,” they write on their cloying new website.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex deeply believe in the role of Monarchy, and their commitment to Her Majesty the Queen is unwavering.”

What an ironic thing to write when your actions demonstrate exactly the opposite.

If they were really committed to carrying out their duties as members of the monarchy, they would do as the Queen has done for the past 70 years: make themselves seen and heard, support national life and charitable causes, but never betray their private opinions.

At first, it seemed to be going so well. Last autumn’s tour of Africa is generally regarded to have been a huge success.

They were warmly received and conducted themselves impeccably – until, that is,

they took the opportunity, unprovoked, to lash out at the press and tell us how little they were enjoying their royal life.

Let’s face it, there are plenty of us who would not enjoy a life spent constantly in the limelight, our daily routines managed by royal staff.

But if Harry and Meghan feel they are not cut out for royal life, they should have sought to extract themselves from it for good.

The halfway house they have proposed, in which they retain their royal titles and privileges while seeking “financial independence”, doesn’t work.

What they are saying is: we want to maintain our royal ­profile, soak up the publicity which comes with life as a member of the Royal Family – and use it to our own financial advantage. It isn’t hard to imagine what will be coming next.

Last September the Duchess launched her own clothing line.

OK, it was for charity – with proceeds going to an organisation called Smart Works – but it is all too easy to imagine a rush of commercial initiatives like that, this time with the profits going directly into Harry and Meghan’s pockets.

If they want to get normal jobs, such as Harry had in the Army or William had as an air ambulance pilot, that is one thing.

There is a good role model for a reluctant royal who craves an ordinary life: King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands who was recently revealed to have spent the past two decades leading a double life as a part-time pilot for KLM.

What is not acceptable is for Harry and Meghan to exploit their position for financial gain.

And Harry and Meghan seem to fully intend to continue to pop up at ceremonial occasions or conduct royal tours when it suits them.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have many good personal qualities.

Harry served bravely in Afghanistan and has spoken openly about depression.

Meghan clearly has the social skills and magnetic personality to attract a following.

But what they lack is the wisdom and insight to understand their unique role as members of the world’s best-known Royal Family, and to see that it is incompatible with the ­behaviour of a pair of celebrities.

The Queen does have that wisdom and it is sad for her as well as for the institution of the monarchy that she was not given the chance to halt their foolish attempt to try to have their royal cake and eat it. 

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Share on google plus
    Google Comments
    Facebook Comments


Post a Comment