From what little I’ve read of Dan Wootton’s work, he is an upstanding young man with his heart in the right, which is to say conservative, place.
Hence there is no doubt which side he supports in the war of the princes. Time after time, Wootton tears Harry and Meghan to shreds, saying all the right, which is to say conservative, things.
Yet I’d still like to take exception to the last sentence in his latest article: “No matter how much he [Harry] deludes himself that he’s Princess Diana’s representative on earth, his mother would be ashamed of how Harry has thrown his own brother under the bus for commercial gain and revenge.”
Wootton is spot on (couldn’t resist the half-rhyme) on Harry, but I think he gives Diana much too much credit. Assuming he isn’t simply proceeding from the old principle of nil nisi bonum, he misreads the late princess badly.
Harry is precisely that, Diana’s representative on earth, and he has picked up the baton in the relay race to the greatest damage to be inflicted on our monarchy. I’m sure Mummy is smiling with pride from wherever she is.
The moment Diana realised that Buck House wasn’t the best setting for a young woman with romantic ideas about ‘lurv’ and solipsistic ideas about her own personal, as opposed to institutional, worth, she declared war on the royals.
Diana was acting in character, for she was modernity’s envoy to an inherently traditional institution. The House of Windsor exists to serve its realm by linking the past with the present and the present with the future. It’s the axis on which Britain’s constitution revolves – and little else.
That doesn’t mean the royals aren’t entitled to normal feelings. But they are supposed to subjugate them to their mission, which is serving the nation. And by and large this is what they’ve always done.
The job isn’t easy, which is why it requires some innate understanding and extensive training. That’s partly why royals have always tended to choose their consorts from a class similar to their own.
The first modern example of a British prince marrying a commoner provided a useful illustration to, and an awful exception from, that principle. In 1937 Edward VIII defied his government and, in a spooky harbinger of today’s scandal, married Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American of, putting it kindly, a rather adventurous amorous past.
Not only that, but Wallis had dubious political affiliations as well and, by recent accounts, encouraged the king’s own pro-Nazi leanings. However, British governments of the time were made of sterner stuff than today’s lot.
Baldwin’s cabinet told the king in no uncertain terms to choose between the throne and Wallis. The king chose “the woman I love” and became the Duke of Windsor. The loving couple were then exiled from the country and never came back again, except for the odd flying visit.
Things went smoothly then, until Princes Charles and Andrew married, respectively, Diana and Fergie. The latter came from a gentry family, but that didn’t matter very much for Andrew was too far down the pecking order of succession.
Diana’s family, on the other hand, while not royalty, was high aristocracy. They were a decent match dynastically, but Diana was a terrible mismatch personally. When her “I want to be me” entreaty predictably went unheeded, she started taking lovers from all walks of life, but mainly choosing her swains for their offensiveness to the royals.
Since Charles was heir to the throne, those actions constituted high treason. Anne Boleyn was beheaded for less, and some dyed-in-the-wool reactionaries (well, I) advocated at the time that Diana should suffer the same fate.
One scandal followed another, though the royals desperately tried to keep a lid on Diana’s shenanigans. That’s why she decided to bare all (alas, only figuratively) in that notorious BBC interview.
Diana was flapping her eyelashes in an histrionic attempt to curry sympathy. Of all her affairs she admitted only the one with Captain Hewitt (“I loved him, I was besotted with him…”), a man described by those who knew him as a “walking penis”, to use the more decorous noun.
That way she forced through her divorce and went to town with no holds barred, and I use the word ‘holds’ advisedly. Her last affair, with the son of an avowed enemy of the royal family, ended badly – as did her life.
Had Diana lived longer, I’m sure we would have been regaled with a few more TV projects and possibly a few books of memoirs. Her ghost writers would have milked her ‘tragedy’ for all it was worth.
There she was, a thoroughly modern young woman whose husband didn’t love her, and whose ebullient personality was frozen out by that cold-blooded family bent on service and protocol. Who wouldn’t have sympathised with her plight?
Very few, judging by how the public responded to Diana’s war on the royal family – and especially to her death. For all her high birth, she came across as one of them, endowed with all the same instincts.
By then, the people had been brainwashed with egalitarian bilge. They wanted the royals to be just like them fundamentally if not in every detail. The royals could be more glamorous, richer, better-dressed – all that was forgiven as long as the mob detected essential kinship underneath.
When the Queen expressed her condolences in her characteristically restrained and dignified manner, the mob bayed “Show us you care!!!”, and Her Majesty was forced to do her best.
At the same time that revolting Tony Blair described Diana as “the people’s princess”, which was meaningless on any reasonable level but resonant subliminally. That’s what the mob wanted to hear, and it put on the requisite mask of inconsolable grief (with variable success).
Harry was severely traumatised by his mother’s death, as any normal son would be. We all have our share of tragedies, and a child losing his mother ranks right up there.
Yet we all learn to cope sooner or later, and I’d suggest that the 30 years elapsing since his Mummy’s death ought to have been enough time for a 38-year-old boy to come to terms with the tragedy.
Instead Harry obviously inherited his mother’s grudge against his family, and today’s answer to Wallis Simpson has shown him how to turn rancour into pecuniary gain. And today’s mob, weaned on psychobabble, is lapping up the vengeful, mendacious rubbish vomited up by the Sussexes.
However, some signs of a backlash are appearing. Mrs Simpson Mark II is nowhere near as popular as Diana was, and, for all her thespian training, she doesn’t hide her manipulativeness as well as her late mother-in-law did.
More and more people are demanding that the couple be stripped of all their titles, and I happily add my vote to that campaign. But that’s not enough.
I think every room in Harry’s house should be equipped with a wall-size plasma screen, continuously showing a looped video of Meghan’s sex scenes in Suits. Should more candid films be found (as they usually are with B actresses), they could be mixed in for Harry’s viewing pleasure.