Just as I was incensed yesterday about US congressmen meddling in our affairs, Americans have every right to be aggrieved by Prince Harry blatantly advising them to vote for Biden in November.
He didn’t do that in so many words, but the meaning was so transparent that he might as well have done. Someone ought to explain to Harry certain basic truths he obviously can’t figure out for himself.
First, he is rather the opposite of bright. A man of his woefully inadequate intellect is in no position to lecture anybody on anything.
Second, our celebrity culture is such that even nonentities feel entitled to pontificate publicly if their name is readily recognised by the masses. However, acting on that perceived entitlement makes them look even more, rather than less, pathetic.
Harry’s name is recognised by the masses for one reason only: he is a prince of the realm. By all accounts he was a good soldier, but such men don’t benefit from name recognition unless they’ve performed an act of spectacular heroism or perhaps reached a senior general’s rank.
Third, the status of a prince of the realm confers rare privileges, while at the same time imposing ironclad responsibilities. Benefiting from the former while ignoring the latter is worse than inane and tasteless. Since it undermines the very essence of our constitutional dispensation, irresponsible behaviour on the part of the royals is borderline treasonous.
Fourth, being a prince of the realm or, for that matter, any royal involves the forfeiture of some rights the rest of us take for granted. One of them is the freedom of expressing political views publicly – and certainly campaigning for political parties even at home, never mind abroad.
Fifth, while the life of a private subject of Her Majesty belongs only to him and his God, the life of a prince also belongs to the whole nation. Some royals, especially those not burdened with excessive intellect, may find that onus unbearable. However, they must bear it for any number of historical and political reasons.
Sixth, however passionately Harry is obsessed with his wife, she is a typical Hollywood starlet with next to no talent and transient good looks. Marrying Harry was Meghan’s shortcut to enduring fame, which is a time-honoured stratagem for young women on the make.
However, Meghan insists on using her new-found fame as a platform from which to vent her hare-brained woke views on every conceivable subject. It’s beyond her modest abilities to fathom that, by marrying a royal prince, she has stopped being just Meghan Markle. Instead she became HRH the Duchess of Sussex, an important cog in the wheels of the British constitution.
The Queen must act with alacrity to put an end to this obscene road show. The HRH title, along with all other royal insignia, must be immediately removed from Harry and Meghan de jure, as it already has been de facto.
It’s not enough that they are no longer working royals – they must be taken down from the royal perch altogether. Moreover, they, like the Duke of Windsor (another royal henpecked by an American femme fatale) back in the ‘30s, must be banned from entering Britain, unless explicitly allowed to do so by the prime minister in each case.
Harry should keep his officer’s rank, provided he reverts to the name he used in the service, Harry Windsor. I for one will be interested to see the ratings of those Netflix films produced by Mr and Mrs Windsor, rather than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. So, no doubt, will Netflix.
We must recognise the vital role played by the monarchy in Britain’s constitution, which is to say her very essence. For Britain, more than any other European country, is defined by her political arrangement. This is arguably the country’s greatest contribution to Western civilisation, much envied and often emulated by others throughout history.
The constitution has evolved over the centuries, but it has remained essentially intact for over three centuries, despite Tony Blair’s constitutional vandalism. But even in his zeal Blair discovered that no part of Britain’s political structure could be removed without jeopardising the whole.
Thus, much as he wanted to expunge the very notion of a Lord Chancellor, he only succeeded in downgrading the office, not eliminating it. Blair found out that too many political and administrative cul-de-sacs await any train trying to bypass that vital stop.
Yet the monarchy is even more important, by several orders of magnitude. If it collapses, Britain will be plunged into a hopeless political chaos, compared to which the economic damage done by Covid (avidly assisted by our craven, spivocratic government) will look like a marvel of order.
The republican sentiment at the grassroots is strong, and every time a royal violates his brief it gets stronger. Hence Harry’s idiotic shenanigans threaten his whole family and therefore the country.
When that’s the case, both Whitehall and the Palace must act quickly and decisively. In 1936 Stanley Baldwin knew what to do under such circumstances. Boris Johnson, who fancies himself a historian, should study history not just out of academic interest.