No way back for Harry and Meghan after these Royal revelations – Andrew Vine

SO that’s it, then. There is surely no way back into British public life for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have relocated to Los Angeles as a new biography is published.

They wanted to be half-in and half-out anyway, royals when it suited them and highly-priced celebrities for hire the rest of the time.

Now, though, the extracts from the forthcoming book, Finding Freedom, must make them outsiders. Its litany of perceived snubs and slights is not appealing reading. But then this is not an appealing couple, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Britain is well rid of them.

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It may not be their book, but it is the story Harry and Meghan have been allowing to emerge ever since they did a flit from royal duties in order to enrich themselves. This is a couple obsessed by their own celebrity and what seems to be a perverse wish to claim the status of victims.

This is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex before their reolcation to North America that has caused so much antipathy.

Portraying what Harry was born into, and what Meghan freely entered into, as some sort of prison is to deliver a grievous insult to both the monarchy and the British people who overwhelmingly support and cherish it.

All they had to do was turn out and support good causes, to deliver thanks where they were due but often not made explicit, to make people working in public services like the NHS, or in the voluntary sector, feel that much better about themselves because the royals embody society’s good wishes and gratitude.

How hard is that, really, compared to the lives of those with whom they shook hands on walkabouts, who spent their money on bouquets to present to the princess?

Their actions have amounted to flinging those flowers in the faces of a British public which greeted the newest royal couple with a tremendous outpouring of affection and goodwill. It takes a very special sort of talent to squander that, but it’s very hard to have any goodwill towards a couple luxuriating in a Los Angeles mansion whilst trying to exploit their status for money.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day in May 2018 as public support for the couple evaporates.

If there was an international award for the most priggish people on the planet, a sort of Oscars for the uber-annoying, Harry and Meghan would walk off with it, if only for their self-righteous, preaching online videos in which they attempt to portray themselves as morally superior on subjects ranging from women’s rights to the environment.

They appear so lacking in self-awareness that the spectacular inappropriateness of how they come across has completely escaped them or those undoubtedly providing premium-rate PR counsel.

These epically vacuous, rambling homilies sit especially badly at a time when millions in Britain worrying for their health, that of their loved ones, and their livelihoods, aren’t in a mood to be lectured on how they should think or behave by a couple cossetted both by privilege and a combined personal fortune estimated at £30m.

What a contrast to the inspiring and sensitive support for the nation that the Royal Family has displayed during these past months of trial. The Queen, naturally, has led the way, first with an unforgettable address to the nation of solidarity and hope, and then by emerging from lockdown to knight that indomitable NHS fundraiser Captain Tom Moore.

Then her husband, aged 99, put in an appearance with the armed forces to subtly remind everybody that life goes on, and that even the very elderly need not have their lives restricted by fear of the virus if they are careful.

Prince Charles, after his own bout with coronavirus, has been supremely supportive of hospital staff, and his wife has done her bit to promote children’s literacy at a time when their education has been badly disrupted.

William and Kate have bonded with other young parents, chatting online to raise their spirits in lockdown, and then been out and about to talk about mental health, a cause close to their hearts, and one with renewed resonance.

All this is what being royal is about – standing with the people of this country, sharing their troubles and doing what they can to make them feel better. Being royal isn’t about being a celebrity. It’s about doing a job, as exemplified by the Queen over a long lifetime of service.

It could be that Harry and Meghan’s whingeing backfires spectacularly – wailing about how badly they have been treated won’t do anything to help.

If this deeply unappealing couple find that they come to 
be held in something like contempt by the people of this country, who know quite well what it really means to be royal, 
it will be no less than they deserve.

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James Mitchinson