I have a working theory here: somewhere in Windsor’s DNA there is a faulty gene that severely restricts the wearer’s self-awareness.
How else to explain Prince Andrew who, the morning after his horribly gruesome BBC interview about his links to convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein aired, allegedly told his mother the Queen that it had been “a big hit”?
Or how do you make sense of Prince Harry’s turn after the royal flogging turn over the past few months?
On Friday, the 36-year-old royal took part in a special town hall-style follow-up to his recent Apple series, The me you can’t see. Just a few months ago, the notion of the sixth to the throne on a 1.5-hour special would have made immediate and sensational news.
And rather? The underlying sentiment can be attributed simply to this: yawn.
Or to put it another way, the prince protests too much.
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Since Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, opened up to Oprah in March, their denunciations of the royal family have started to crop up with a certain predictability that now borders on monotonous.
Most notably, there was his turn on the Dax Shepherd’s Armchair Expert podcast when he proclaimed he wanted to “break the cycle” of “pain and suffering” and that royal life was “a cross between The Truman Show and live in a zoo ”.
Then he accused the royal family of “total neglect” and “intimidating him into silence” via his Apple series, and that his father, Prince Charles, had made him “suffer” as a child.
If there was a turning point here, some sort of line in the sand past which all of this mess could be rewound or at least contained, we’ve been long past it. Instead, in 2021, Prince Harry’s public identity is built on a tale of lingering angst, a man who endured the cruel slingshots and arrows of fate and managed to live to tell the tale to l Oprah film crew.
It is a delicate territory.
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What’s not up for debate for a second is that Harry survived, barely it seems, a deep trauma, the child of warring parents who lost his mother at the age of 12 years old and who was then forced to walk behind his coffin as tens of thousands of strangers stood a few feet away.
He then received no counseling or psychological help, he and his brother William left to endure the pain in silence. These scars that Harry bore as an adult when, by his own admission, he turned to alcohol and drugs to try and deal with these deep wounds.
Her decision to openly discuss her own painful experiences and her quest to destigmatize mental health is to her undying credit.
However, this is the point where we come to the “but” …
But, there has to be some sort of distinction between him opening up to his suffering to really help others and appearing to vituperously target the Royal Family with steady, grim abandon.
Why for the love of the god Harry? Who does all of this help besides the results of Oprah and Apple?
The ramifications of his scathing vocalism are twofold.
First, there is the family front.
It defies belief that a reconciliation between Harry and his father, Prince Charles and brother William, could rightfully be on the cards when the young prince appears to have no qualms about criticizing his supposed closest and apparently not dearest. .
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To add even more weight to my flawed Windsor gene theory, consider that Harry also had the wacky audacity to argue that all of his recent indictments against the Royal Household will pave the way for some sort of family reunification.
“I like to think that we were able to speak the truth in the most compassionate way possible, thus leaving an opening for reconciliation and healing,” Harry said during an episode of The me you can’t see.
The lack of logic and self-awareness here belies the belief.
How could the Queen and Charles fail to see that Harry and Meghan were ‘compassionate’ when they accused the royal family of bluntly ignoring the mental anguish of the Duchess and an anonymous member of the household of a abject racism?
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And, we all know, there is no better way to start the ‘healing’ process than to throw your family under the bus while the world is watching, in amazement with eyes full of glasses and mouths. opened.
At the root of it all is the same illusion that brought down Diana, the royal career of the Princess of Wales.
What tragically unites Harry and his mother is that they both seem to have felt / felt a burning urge to tell the world about their misery while simultaneously working under the absolute misconception that spreading grievances would improve their situation for the best.
What neither the prince nor the princess seem to have understood is that voicing their grievances and reproaches to such an acute degree was never going to make matters worse with the royal family.
It seems impossible to see how Harry’s regular media eruptions could have impacted his already frayed relationship with his family other than making the situation worse.
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And then secondly, we have to talk about the consequences of this anti-palace crusade in terms of its post-royal mark. (I’ve never met a hyphen that I didn’t like.)
Public sympathy, Harry might well find, is a finite resource, a fact made even more acute by the events of the past 15 months. No matter what he’s been through, the public’s willingness to watch him excoriate his own family in a public forum seems to be diminishing, at least in some quarters.
All of this leaves him on increasingly risky ground.
If this fatigue of some sort, this declining interest in tapping into what Harry has to say breathlessly continues, it could pose a serious problem for future Sussex business ventures. Netflix and Spotify aren’t just spending huge sums of money on the couple’s compassionate narrative, but also that they are supposedly going to generate huge amounts of publicity and potentially subscribers.
What if some public apathy kicks in? Bored someone?
Oscar Wilde once said, “There is only one thing in life worse than talking, and one that you don’t talk about.”
Harry might be about to learn, too painfully, just how right the saying is, especially when the time to renegotiate the contract comes.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a number of leading media titles in Australia.