Well done, Your Royal Highness!

We ought to be proud of our future king. For Prince William has just received a unique honour that none of his dynastic predecessors could boast.

Yes, other monarchs and heirs to the throne have won accolades, but those were more or less much of a muchness.

For example, Alfred the Great successfully defended the country against the Vikings – but then George VI successfully led the Commonwealth in the war against the Nazis (Prince William’s great-great-uncle David supported the other side, it has to be said). Henry V showed the French what’s what at Agincourt – but then George III did the same at Waterloo, if not exactly in a hands-on fashion. Elizabeth I found a workable religious settlement – but then so did William III (workable doesn’t mean perfect, but an achievement none the less).

Yet none of them – and I invite you to peruse history books trying to prove me wrong – managed to reach the dizzying heights of achievement scaled by HRH Prince William.

For we can both laud and applaud the prince for having merited a most precious accolade. Last Friday he was named “straight ally of the year” at the British LGBT Awards.

HRH received the award with the dignity for which his family is so justly famous. “Nobody should be bullied for their sexuality,” he said.

Yes, of course he knows, after the sterling education he received, that ‘nobody’ is a singular antecedent calling for the singular personal pronoun ‘his’. But, having established his credentials as a homophile, he wasn’t about to earn demerit points for using the forbidden ‘h’ word.

Also receiving an award was Caitlin ‘Bruce’ Jenner, living proof that the bullying that vexes William so is very much rife. Just the other day she/he was addressing a crowd when a lout yelled “Get your d*** out, Bruce!” Someone has to take a stand against such troglodytes, the way Alfred stood up against the Vikings or George VI against the Nazis.

“It’s so important to be proud of the person you are,” added the prince and, though I agree wholeheartedly (he’s my future king after all), I do wish the statement had been qualified ever so slightly.

Not everyone should be proud of the person he is – sorry, mea culpa, I mean they are. Some people, for example, are violent. Some are kleptomaniacs. Some are drug addicts. Some think Jeremy Corbyn would be brill as prime minister. Should they all be proud? Words should be used with precision, Your Royal Highness, or not at all.

The Prince then expanded his statement: “It is 2017, and nobody should be bullied for their sexuality, or for any other reason.” I’d suggest that a bit of bullying wouldn’t be out of place with some of the categories mentioned above, but HRH is entitled to his own view. Especially since his statement reveals the keen sense of history he boasts.

It is indeed 2017, as opposed to 1017, 1917 or indeed 2016, and the difference isn’t merely chronological.

For 2017 has ushered in a new morality that hitherto was beyond mankind’s – sorry, I mean personkind’s reach. Until 2017 it was perfectly acceptable to bully somebody for his – sorry, I mean their sexuality, or for any other reason. But 2017 has opened up a whole new perspective on such matters, and we must all thank Prince William for having pointed it out.

This is in no way to cast doubt on a man’s right to feel proud about having sex with other men. Seeking recognition for preferring rectal intercourse is perfectly legitimate, although few heterosexuals I know are proud of the way they choose to express their sexual cravings.

Some of them are prideful men, committing thereby the seventh deadly sin. Some are even proud of the number of women they’ve bedded, even though most exaggerate their record mendaciously. But no one I know is proud of being straight qua straight. Perhaps we should be, now that we’ve received a royal dispensation.

“In recent years I’ve become passionate about what we can do to protect people from bullying, particularly online,” added the Prince, with the sensitivity we’ve learned to expect from our younger royals.

This ought to be welcomed, for the realm has few more pressing concerns than stamping out harangues about Caitlin Jenner’s genitalia. After all, none of the monarchs I’ve mentioned ever got around to protecting the LGBT community from abuse.

I bet they didn’t even know the term LGBT, nor realised that people describable by those initials formed a community. This, though some of them could have qualified for membership.

Springing to mind are William Rufus, Richard I (some Lionheart!), Edward II, Richard II and James I (the jury’s still out on Charles I and Queen Anne). Yet even they neglected to protect the LGBT community, instead devoting their energy to the less pressing need of protecting the realm.

That oversight has now been corrected thanks to HRH Prince William. He and his brother are doing all they can to remind us that we’re indeed 17 years into the twenty-first century, which is so much more sensitive and moral than the previous 20.

Congratulations, Your Royal Highness! It’s comforting to know that the future of the dynasty is in safe hands. I’m sure your grandparents are proud of you.

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