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OK, confession time: I am subscribed to the Daily Mirror newsletter that publishes probably 10 times a day (an exaggeration, but you know how I feel). And, of course, “everything Royal” is a persistent feature of their “news stories.” But it’s pretty thin gruel — about a millimeter above “click bait.” Saucy headlines that make something seem current and then, when you dig in, it is talking about something that happened long ago.
The “big” thing just now is the “Prince Harry” drama with his new money-maker autobiography Spare. Call me dense, but I did not immediately recognize to the reference to “an heir and a spare” that inspired the title. I, too, am a spare. I have an older brother who inherited the paternal moniker. I am trying now to recall whether that bothered me as a child. Maybe if I was writing a book…
So Prince Harry resented being a “spare” and all that goes with it in Royal protocol. (Kind of like being Vice President. Few of them ever rose to the top job absent the death of the President.) I get it. But it all depends on how you decide to view your life. None of us chose to be born. Nor did we choose our parents, siblings, and extended relations. Putting “family above all” (as opposed to the friends we choose) must be some evolutionary success strategy because it certainly is not an assurance of warmth, comfort, security, and care. It is supposed to be. But there are far too many horror stories to think it is automatic. The evolutionary success suggests that there is something to genetic linkage. But, then again, it may simply be the clear demarcation of blood that, when the admonition is followed, creates a defensible unit.
I am delighted with the Constitutional prohibition on royal titles in America. But people are people, and thus celebrity culture in America creates a stand-in for the missing title. That, and the extremely wealthy — particularly when those two groups overlap. This popular impulse for royalty is ancient. Recall that according to the Bible, the Jews demanded a king to rule them rather than be guided by prophets.
Why I waste my time reading about “the Sussexes,” I don’t know. Maybe it is the same phenomenon as not being able to turn your eyes away from a train wreck. I suspect marrying Meghan at some deep level was an act of rebellion on Harry’s part. Not because she was partially black, but because she was totally “Wallis Simpson.” He wanted out without the courage of making a full break, but he set in motion the events that could not but result in an estrangement. And now he hangs suspended — his wife wants celebrity and wealth and is willing for him to do anything to maintain it.
I think the spare has gone flat.Published in