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DOMINIC LAWSON: The real bomb? How little Harry, not Meghan, understood the monarchy


How depressingly predictable that the authorized but unauthorized report of the duke and duchess of Sussex breaking with the royal family (and with this country) should be based on the accusation of "snobbery".

The authors of Finding Freedom, though Nelson Mandela is not, claim that Prince Harry never got over the impression that his brother was "like a snob" when Prince William warned him of a quick decision, with Meghan Markle to be engaged.

Such an indictment against William is deeply unfair in my opinion. If he were such a snob, he would never have married a middle-class man who would have preferred the royal family's traditional marital hunting grounds in England's mansions.

From what I have learned from those who have dealt with them personally, she is much more level-headed about the couple and wonderful at calming Harry down and making sure he doesn't act hastily or purely with anger

Indeed, snobbish insults against Kate Middleton – with endless rumors of the fact that her mother (the horror!) Had been a stewardess – continued for years during her long pre-marital relationship.

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But what seems credible from the excerpts from the book published over the weekend is that despite all his obvious modernity and undoubtedly gifts of compassion for the plight of the less privileged, Prince Harry himself is of a royal rank and status: not at least in terms of ambitions that he and his wife should play a major role in developing the royal family as a “global brand”.

There is evidence that he calls William "the important one" and complaints about how his own initiatives have been repeatedly blocked if they prevent something that either William or Prince Charles intended to do.

In addition, Harry was furious when he and Meghan (after announcing their break with the monarchy) were not asked to take part in the official procession on Westminster Abbey's Commonwealth Service: it should only be the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge alongside the Queen.

Obviously, this decision reflected changing circumstances. But even before that break, Harry seemed to find it difficult to accept that he was simply less central to the future of the royal family because of the traditional rules of precedence and succession.

Harry was furious when he and Meghan (after announcing their break with the monarchy) were not asked to attend the official Commonwealth Service procession at Westminster Abbey in March

Harry was furious when he and Meghan (after announcing their break with the monarchy) were not asked to attend the official Commonwealth Service procession at Westminster Abbey in March

The word "monarchy" ultimately means "rule of one" – although "rule" rather than "rule" is the more appropriate word in the democratic era.

The monarch is the sun and every other family member is a mere satellite, the official status of which is only considered to represent the person who wears the crown. And with each successive child produced by William and Kate, Prince Harry's position was downgraded.

The same was true for Prince Andrew in an earlier generation: he was a more glamorous and (then) popular figure than his older brother. But this, and the fact that he is the queen's son as well as the Prince of Wales, was irrelevant: and all the more so since Charles produced his own heirs.

According to the authors of Finding Freedom (who claim to have gotten everything properly), Harry and Meghan believed that their undisputed charisma could "take the royal family to a new level".

Aside from the assumption, it's just not that the pecking order in the royal family can be based on something like the Hollywood star system, where the most dazzling talent gets the highest payroll. The royal family is not a meritocracy. How could it be

Membership in the royal family is also not about self-actualization or personal ambitions (although this ambition is nothing more than a desire to make the world a better place that many Hollywood actors call their true goal in life).

If it sounds like I'm blaming Meghan Markle for this debacle, it is far from it. First of all, after what I've learned from those who have dealt with them personally, she's all the more prudent of the couple and wonderful at calming Harry down and making sure he doesn't act hastily or just out of anger (irascibility is a feature of Windsor men across generations).

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I also think it is unreasonable to have expected Meghan to understand the peculiarities and practices of the British monarchy. Nothing in her life could have prepared her for it. Someone who, in the best American way, has done what he did by strengthening himself in a brutally competitive system could be confused by an institution where inherited status counts a lot more than the one who does the lines deliver the most error-free or even the best part looks.

But Prince Harry cannot claim such confusion. He was born and grew up in it. In fact, this is the only reason for its prominent position or public status. And it is indeed as sensitive to its various gradations (invisible to those outside the court) as any supposedly more traditional member of the royal family. For example, he was shocked by the fact that when he married Meghan Markle, Prince William wore the "aiguillette over his right shoulder and chest," which is the badge of a personal adjutant to the monarch. Because Harry hadn't got that rank.

Less central: Harry and Meghan are relegated to background players when the Royals gather on Buckingham Palace's balcony during last year's Trooping the Color

Less central: Harry and Meghan are relegated to background players when the Royals gather on Buckingham Palace's balcony during last year's Trooping the Color

However, if the Duke of Sussex was actually so upset, this status question was quickly resolved to his satisfaction. Within a few months, Harry was also named the Queen's "personal aide".

This was a request that Her Majesty could meet happily and easily. Not so Harry's demands – as if you could ever "ask" the monarch – that he and Meghan are both full members of the royal family with the associated status and also run a personal advertising company led by the monarch brand & # 39; Sussex Royal & # 39 ;.

Again, I don't blame Meghan Markle – to put it politely – this misunderstanding. In her view, it probably didn't seem strange at least, or at least not strange, than the royal family seemed to have appeared to her. That Prince Harry didn't seem to understand is extraordinary.

But she'll get most of the public debt for the debacle, not least because Harry – especially after his mother's tragic loss – had a special place in the heart of much of the British people, while Meghan Markle wasn't even aware of this, until she came into his life.

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This corresponds to an insidiously persistent prejudice – it ultimately goes back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden – a fundamentally innocent man manipulated by a woman (with the implicit indication that he was seduced by the desire to act stupid in a way otherwise he would never have done it).

It's an overly comfortable story that is often profoundly unfair to a partnership of mutual interest – and not to an unfortunate booby that a monstrous woman commands.

It is very clear that Harry believed that the woman he had chosen for his wife had not received the respect he deserved from both his brother and the court as a whole.

Well, I would never criticize a man for standing up for his wife – I feel positively murderous when I feel that no one has disrespected my own wife. But the more you look into it, the more it seems that Harry's anger over the alleged lack of adequate respect for Meghan (and the Finding Freedom indictment that he thought William had acted like a snob in his initial reaction to it) Girl & # 39;) came from a longstanding grudge over the way he felt like he was always second behind his older brother.

This older brother is also the one who will eventually become the person to whom Harry has to bow as his king.

It is an old, old story. And Harry should have known it all the time.

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Debate (t) Prince Harry (t) Prince William (t) Royals (t) Meghan Markle