On The Tantalizing Possibility Of “The People’s Prince”


So over the past few weeks, the Royal Family has ‘lost’ two princes. I mean, they’re still there, nobody’s been exiled nor beheaded (potential migration to Canada notwithstanding), but nevertheless two Princes (and one Duchess) have taken a step back from being “Senior Royals”.

The first of these … only did so, not once his position had become “untenable” – but arguably many, many moons post-facto to that point, and following possibly the largest crash-and-burn display of a museum-piece broadcast through media since the Hindenburg re-enactment society (flying under the command of one Captain Will Rogers III [Legion of Merit]) dive-bombed a 1/4th scale model Titanic (built from the hull of the Exxon Valdez), somewhere in the Persian Gulf adjacent to a B.P. oil rig.

And even after that torrid display, incorporating such frankly incredible lines as Prince Andrew claiming that the accusations against him could not be true, because he’s allegedly physically incapable of sweating in stressful situations following being shot at during the Falklands War – the messages being broadcast from the Royal Household were basically that the whole thing was made up nothing to see here stop bullying our poor Andrew.

[To be fair and sure, there is also suggestion that Prince Andrew’s brother, Charles, had a rather more … realistic assessment of affairs, hence the semi-forced step-back/step-down; yet this was all carried out sotto voce and out of the public eye, and apparently running counter to the Queen’s “blind-spot” in reference to her other son.]

The second Prince (and Duchess) ‘lost’ is rather different. Not least because Prince Harry’s approach to “relating to the young people” is entirely unlike that alleged of his uncle. Despite the marrying of a North American tv-star, I think it could be fairly suggested that he might have had a claim to the title “The People’s Prince” [or, in his younger days, and to recall a certain other figure of some notoRoyalty , perhaps the “Prince of Parties”]. And unlike certain of his cousins, he really does appear to have inherited his father’s strong desire to utilize such blessings of prominence and prestige as his birth may have equipped him with, to “make a difference”.

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There are many things which could, and already have been speculated as to the reasoning both for the Sussexes’ ‘departure’, and about the ‘establishment’ Royal reaction thereto. You can read those elsewhere.

My own take on it is that it’s perhaps understandable – if it’s true – that leaving ‘unannounced’, and leaving your own father and grandmother and formerly close brother to find out about this via shock newsflashes on the television … might possibly be regarded as a bit impolite. Alternatively, if it isn’t true that that’s what happened – then presenting the departure in this way would be one manner in which you might attempt to grab back ‘control’ of the narrative and some form of resolute moral high ground.

Yet two things stood out to me in both the Sussexes’ announcement, and the ensuing firestorm of “THEY CAN’T DO THAT” emanating from various quarters.

The first of which, was their apparent determination to move towards “financial independence”, and by that I take it they have meant not just ‘paying their own way’, but also the double-meaning of ‘independence’ as entailing not being reined by the purse-strings of the Palace. The “independence” thus sought, therefore, is both for the Commonwealth taxpayer, and from the Commonwealth ‘First Family”s constraining governance.

The second, and this appplies to the reaction to all of the above, was a raised eyebrow of surprise at everybody suggesting that ‘Harry & Meghan’ were now making the Royal Family look bad via their tacit absence from same. Which is as distinct, you understand, from a few weeks beforehand, wherein they were apparently making the Royal Family look bad via their being part of same.

Perhaps I am cynical, but the implicit suggestion seems to be that the Monarchy only works provided it is a Mono-archy. [there is only one “Archie“, thus far, but that is another pun for another time, I’m sure] . That any attempt to move off and ‘do one’s own thing’, and perhaps look a bit better than the beleaguered Imperial Center, even unintentionally, is therefore an express and tangible threat thereto.

Nobody’s seriously suggesting that Prince Harry is retreating off to a Colonial fortress in order to plot a Schism within the Merry House of Windsor, so as to stage a daring back-door palace-coup and elevate himself to plenipotentiary power as some kind of Bonnie Prince Son of Charlie .. although I am rather taken, quietly, with the notion of Prince Archie running for President of the United States and bringing the whole thing back under Union Jack sodality, at least partially because the Windsor dynasty, for all its faults, is responsible for rather fewer in the number of direct wars of expansionist aggression than the Clinton dynasty, the Bush dynasty, or more recently, the Trump Dynasty [no matter the latter’s previous cultivation of support from the isolationist segments of what would become the Trumpenproletariat].

But, then, the Sussexes don’t need to even contemplate anything so brash in order to upend a fairly large proportion of the extended Monarchial order.

While it was only relatively recently that Prince Andrew et co lost access to their round-the-clock taxpayer-funded protection etc. and other such outlays from the Public Purse, the rest of the Royal Family still being heavily state subsidized has from time to time created some degree of disquiet in certain quarters.

It’s not something I have a huge problem with, for the record; but I can see how two young(ish) royals declaring that at least as applies themselves, “enough is enough” and endeavouring to move towards “financial independence” might cause a bit of consternation elsewhere within the Royal institution.

Overall, I suspect that the reasoning for the annoyance about the Sussexes’ decision has less to do with the idea that they’re doing something potentially rash for themselves and which might end in screaming disaster – for them …

.. and much much more to do with the looming specter that maybe, just maybe, Prince Harry and Wife, are in the process of setting up a new kind of Prncedom for the British Realm. One which is much more self-empowered and self-sustaining, and deliberately sets out to Do Things. You could definitely argue that Princess Anne had beat them to it, of course – but for various reasons, she didn’t get anything like the same attention in recent years for doing so. Probably because she was less public about it, and possibly because she wasn’t so directly proximate to the lineage of succession and public mind’s eye.

Will it work? Who knows.

But I, for one, am rather eager to see what happens next – perhaps we really shall be getting our “People’s Prince”.


  1. Clever,twisting commentary on a self-absorbed couple with a stunning little Archie. Their ‘independence’ will rely on the cash cow of royal identity. You didn’t mention Meghan’s ‘race’ which is likely to be a factor in wanting to escape the racist MSM in the UK. Her unique browness among the royals is part of NZ media coverage, surprising when a fit Maori shearer (Witi Ihimaera’s nephew) married the Duke of Gloucester’s daughter. They kept a low public profile like the rest of the Gloucesters and recently divorced.

    Meghan must be calling the shots given that Harry is a bit of a dullard. Interviewed when their engagement was announced, Meghan claimed she was ignorant of royalty and Harry was educating her about his strange family. Later it emerged she had camped outside Buckingham Palace as a tourist and had a biography of Princess Di in her bookshelf.

    I kid myself that I follow the royals in order to indulge in exposures. One distasteful titbit: Meghan was reported visiting NZ House on her own and smirking at the greeting practice known as hongi. However, no such slip-ups on her NZ visit, she endeared herself to us all. May Archie’s woollen hats continue to be knitted here. That could be the extent of NZ’s connection with the royals, whether semi-retired or fully fledged.

    • Janio ” …on her NZ visit, she endeared herself to us all.” All ? Really ?

      Meghan Markle did not endear herself to me, and she is never likely to. Can’t think of why she should.

      I thought those people who go and wave flags at royals are from various institutions on outings, and that in the UK Markle pays people to call out, “Meghan”.

      I wouldn’t call out ,”Meghan” if they paid me – or maybe I could do it four or five thousand quid, but not a penny less – one of her sugars might thump me.

      • Sorry Pip, it was tongue in cheek and I stand by you. I thought I expressed the idea that she is a conniving little b. I thought media seemed keen, gave them good publicity.

        • Janio – That’s ok, all this is nuts anyway:

          “Prince Harry and wife Meghan told Elton John they wanted to quit before telling the Queen.

          News of his support came as Her Majesty called a royal summit on Monday – with Meghan joining in by phone.

          The royal rebels Harry and Meghan turned to their “rock” Elton as they grappled with their controversial decision to quit senior duties.

          The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been speaking to the showbiz legend – a pal of Harry’s mum Diana – every day for months.

          They even told him about their plans before informing the Queen.

          The news comes as Her Majesty called a crisis summit at her home in Sandringham tomorrow.”

          So, it’s a people’s prince being guided by the people’s Queen Elton John. Oh Oh Oh. Another couple of Oh’s.

          You and I are of an age to know people whose whole lives were made quiet hells because of the families they married into. Life became a permanent eggshell walk. They stuck at it because they saw no other choices, and because that is what one did. There were sometimes zero redeeming features, apart from the hope that their children might be an improvement on the status quo.

          We know children who lost their parents at a young age too. Mine lost their father, and it was tough, and it stayed tough. The thing about royals is that they have access to vast support networks and resources beyond the ken of commoners. If they still can’t get their acts together, then they probably shouldn’t be royals.

          But that’s no excuse for their bad manners, so stuff them.

          If Harry can now be paid twice as much as a public speaker than it costs to attend a Covent Garden opera with world class singers, then everybody is nuts.

  2. The previous “people’s prince” also married a North American divorcee. He gave up the throne (the most senior royal!) and lived in sordid affluence, cheating at golf and chumming with Hitler.

    Curwen, you didn’t mention this once popular royal who ended up a sad mess on the international celebrity circuit. Were we supposed to draw our own conclusions?

  3. “if it’s true – that leaving ‘unannounced’, and leaving your own father and grandmother and formerly close brother….”
    The key word here is “if”…. ( if it’s ‘your own Father’ etc.)
    My theory is that Harry or someone in the establishment has done a DNA test and found that he really isn’t related to Charles or any of the Royals, so he might as well cut ties, Take the $60million or so and have an independent life free from all the Royal bullshit nonsense.

    • The ‘new life’ will be dependent on “the Royal bullshit nonsense”. They’ll be cashing in on the royal status and make a new fortune. My sympathies to Harry, he doesn’t seem exactly up with the play and will continue loyal to his poor put-upon wife. A victim of his own stupidity.

      • Janio -At the Trooping of the Colour, 2018, an elderly retired army officer, Field Marshall Charles Guthrie, fell from his horse. He was knocked unconscious when he hit the ground, and subsequently admitted to hospital.

        Up on the balcony, Harry grimaced. Meghan Markle laughed. The Duchess of Cambridge looked concerned, and she was the only one of the three who did look really concerned. When I read of Markle laughing at an old man falling from his horse, I didn’t believe it, until I saw the video clip. Even the small child at the front didn’t laugh. That was when I thought that Markle was horrible – even if a self-described humanitarian. It’s probably all still online.

        She has also described herself as insanely-smart and wanting to break the internet, and is described by her friends as wanting to rule the world; this pair have wanted their own court right from the start, and their merchandising cashing in on royalty is under way – they are not rejecting ‘royalty’, they simply want it on their own terms, which is about making money, and promoting themselves as a power couple.

        The http://www.harrymarkle satirical website says Markle never had any intention of staying in the UK, and this is why she made no effort to get on with people; the ‘woe is me’ TV interview was modelled on the famous Princess Diana one – same big-eyed, lip-biting tragic female stuff – same phraseology – ‘nobody asks how I am’. The pair of them have milked Princess Diana ’til the cows come home – they say Markle wants to be the new Princess Di – and she was a bit of a minx too.

        Two spoiled brats as the peoples’ Prince and Princess could go down a treat – somewhere – help get Trump re-elected as Markle won’t inhabit LA while he’s POTUS and not all Americans like Markle – but anyone buying SussexRoyal merchandise on Ebay needs to know that the guarantees don’t always pan out, and they should maybe just count on it appearing in bins at The Warehouse where everyone gets a bargain.

        It all sort of sums up the ghastliness of post-modernity.

  4. Will H&M be happy to relinquish their titles? ‘Highness’- What a ridiculous expression of fawning deference to superior from a serf/slave; an attitude from a feudal regime long since discarded.
    Anyone using this linguistic anachronism ‘Your royal highness’ or Your majesty (noun-
    1 impressive beauty, scale, or stateliness) should be referred to as ‘your lowness”. F**k off!
    Trumps frequent reference to himself as ‘Sir’ shows a similar pomposity that has been trained into the Royal family.
    (Sir-used as a title before the forename of a knight or baronet.) Consider the name Trump gave to his latest child.

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