Homeless numbers soar

Well, not exactly soar, but they have indeed grown – by two. However, the newly homeless couple is unlikely to sleep rough, drink rotgut out of a brown paper bag and pester passers-by with “giza quid” pleas.

A sight for any sore republican eyes

After all, Harry and Meghan are rich, and they do have a roof over their heads in California. That’s their real home because that’s where their conjoined heart is.

King Charles has ordered the couple to vacate the five-bedroom Frogmore Cottage the Queen gave them in 2018. H & M are supposed to pick up their stuff and get out at their leisure, by early summer, which suggests there’s a lot of stuff to pack and ship.

I’m impressed with the King’s forbearance and amazed it has taken him so long. For Harry, expertly egged on and assisted by his objectionable wife, is clearly committed to continuing his late mother’s mission: damaging, ideally destroying, the British monarchy.

However, I can understand the King’s vacillation. After all, kicking out a prince of the blood isn’t the same as evicting a commoner in default of his rent payments. There are constitutional issues to consider, which, in Britain, involves studying the precedents.

Harry owes his position not to any achievement or appointment but strictly to the blood in his veins, which, legally if possibly in no other sense, is royal. As such, it doesn’t depend on any qualities of character (appalling in Harry’s case) or behaviour (even more so).

Since his status was neither given nor earned, taking it away completely is tricky de facto and impossible de jure. Harry was born a prince and so he’ll remain no matter what he does.

Yet that last sentence should be amended with a crucial proviso: within sensible limits. And, as the precedent I have in mind shows, the definition of what is and isn’t sensible is out of Harry’s hands.

The way our constitution works, the royal family gets every opportunity to sort out its internal squabbles. Yet should it be unable to do so, parliament can step in and chop through any Gordian knot with Alexander’s elan. An Act of Parliament can even remove a prince from the line of succession – something the monarch doesn’t have the power to do.

As the precedent I have in mind shows, the combined force of those two institutions is strong enough to reduce a transgressing prince and his bride to the status of pariahs and supplicants. And, unlike Harry, the Duke of Windsor had been a king, Edward VIII.

That he stopped to be when he decided to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée whose questionable romantic past even included some on-the-job training in Asian brothels. Her political affiliations were no less dubious, since Wallis was a Nazi sympathiser, to say the least.

All things considered, the Baldwin cabinet told the king to choose between Wallis and the crown. He chose the former in a tear-jerking broadcast and was summarily banished not only from Buckingham Palace but indeed from the country.

From then on the Duke of Windsor was only ever allowed to come to Britain for the odd flying visit, mostly to beg his younger brother the King for more money to bankroll the style to which Wallis had become accustomed. She, by the way, never received the HRH title, which kept bugging her husband no end.

Meghan did, and of course Harry is entitled to it from birth. Yet while they both retain the title, neither of them is any longer allowed to use it.

Now King Charles has served an eviction notice, which has enraged the fans of that awful couple. Since those who love Harry and Meghan typically hate the monarchy, they accuse the king of maliciously acting out of spite.

In fact, he presciently averted a possible constitutional problem. For Harry’s rank in the line of succession would enable him to become one of the Councillors of State, effectively stand-ins for the King should he be ill or absent.

Yet there is a catch: a Councillor of State must be domiciled in Britain to retain a claim to that post. Now that he has been kicked out of Frogmore Cottage, Harry no longer has a UK address, which disqualifies him from a place among potential Councillors.

I doubt any modern prime minister would be able to act as decisively as Stanley Baldwyn did in 1937. However, the government has the precedent-based constitutional mandate to do so. The very minimum it should do is take the HRH title away from Meghan. After all, she only uses it as a weapon in her war on the monarchy.

And, by analogy with John Lackland, Harry should now be called Lackhome. That nickname could act as a constant reminder that he isn’t welcome in the country whose constitution he tries to undermine so resolutely.

Meanwhile, Parliament ought to consider removing Harry from the line of succession either permanently or at least for as long as he stays married to Meghan. That may not be for ever: once the couple lose the glitter, and hence the earning potential, conferred by their current status, Meghan may well dump Harry, citing Schiller along the way: “The Moor has done his work, the Moor may go.”

Then again, this may be one of those marriages made in heaven, with both cretinous male and manipulating female finding an ideal mate. Did I say heaven? Hell is more like it.

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