Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew. As time goes on, they present themselves not as the real-life Three Wise Men, but increasingly as the Huey, Dewey, and Louie of some dark caper; the imperial Bee Gees on eternal repeat, charlatans simply trying to stay alive in a world they find increasingly hostile.
Two separated brothers and a disgraced uncle, looking for scraps at the royal banquet. With the best will in the world, they’re not an inspiring group, are they?
Call it what you want, but little by little the shine is taking off from this sour game of thrones, from this line of succession in terminal recession. From time to time, the three masks fall and we see these princes for who they are and what they really are: a trio of pampered man-children who demand accountability from everyone else while doing as they please, an unholy trinity that still can’t at all. I think the era of deference is over.
Prince William is by far the best of them, especially since the weight of royal responsibility must fall on his shoulders. In his rather passive-aggressive style, he has never hidden the fact that he considers this an onerous task, but who could blame him for brooding or for viewing his birthright as a velvet bow?
While his grieving father and his recovering wife stay out of the spotlight, this is William’s moment of truth. However, instead of accepting the challenge, he seems to be all over the place. To begin with, that misguided statement about the conflict between Israel and Hamas; Now he’s absent from an actual event on short notice and without proper explanation?
Prince Andrew, taking the opportunity to insert himself, like a festering suppository, back into the real-life end of the pantomime donkey, writes Jan Moir.
It’s all very strange. If William has a good reason for his absence, then he should tell us or even leave us a comforting hint: the audience would understand and sympathize. Of course he has the right to a private life, but he is not a movie star who complains about his privacy in a moment of crisis. He is the heir to the British throne, a man with a unique set of public responsibilities.
One day soon he will be the head of the nation, a focus of identity, unity and national pride. So maybe he should stop behaving like a celebrity and reign in that impervious attitude along with his indulgent penchant for obsessive secrecy. If this is a sign of things to come when he ascends the throne, it is very worrying.
Then there is Prince Andrew, taking the opportunity to insert himself, like a festering suppository, back into the real-life donkey pantomime.
The sight of cheerful Andrew, galloping into King Constantine’s funeral at Windsor with all the seriousness of a game show host, was as unpleasant as it was unedifying.
Andrew is not ashamed because, if he were, he would hide from public life forever. He would attend to his golf swing, his chronic adrenaline deficiency problem, and his studies of sweating patterns, rather than imposing his hideous, scandal-smoked presence on the Royal Family.
That would be the decent thing to do, but decency and Andrew are strangers to each other.
This week, court documents revealed that Prince Harry, photographed on a ski trip with Meghan in Canada last month, demanded to know the identity of whoever in the government was responsible for downgrading his police protection.
Prince William is by far the best of them, especially since the weight of royal responsibility must fall on his shoulders.
Which brings us to the clown known as Prince Harry. This week, court documents revealed that he demanded to know the identity of whoever in the government was responsible for downgrading his police protection.
“I’d like to know that person’s name,” he said, very much in the manner of Tony Soprano, perhaps in a ruff-and-stockings dream sequence, putting Paulie Walnuts on the spot.
What was Harry going to do? Has said person been taken to her royal apartments on a cart and then tortured by making her listen to Meghan’s latest podcast about compassion in action?
Here’s Grief Harry, preparing to deliver a proverbial knuckle sandwich to the upstart servant who refused to give him the safety equipment he’d demanded. How absolutely pathetic this objectionable fool has become; a man who positions himself in public life as a brilliant humanitarian, but who in private will frustrate anyone who dares to cross him or deny his wishes.
‘Show up, do good’ is the catchy motto of the Sussexes’ rebooted Archewell website. “Shut up, do what I say” would be a more honest and appropriate slogan.
Listen, guys. It’s not too late to learn that having the word “Prince” in front of your name is not simply a passport to a newsletter blackout when the going gets tough, a free pass to the fleshy island lair of a known sexual abuser, or a fast route to celebrity and millions of handsome Hollywood dollars, although it has clearly been all of these things and more.
Having the word Prince in front if your name brings more responsibilities, not less. And she would be doing us all a favor, while also honoring the memory of Queen Elizabeth, her beloved grandmother and mother, if she would remember that, from time to time.