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Tuesday, December 27. 2022
The Importance of Being Harry
Generally I don't care about this stuff...but at a lunch recently some coworkers spent a good portion of the time talking about Harry and Meghan. I simply stated I don't generally pay attention to the details of this stuff, all humans are flawed and hero-worship isn't something I go for, generally speaking.
Being an Anglophile doesn't mean I'm a royal-watcher or a fan of the monarchy. I've often joked they are the wealthiest welfare family on the planet. This is a bit of a stretch, of course. The family does generate quite a bit of income on their own, with their holdings, and as a result of tourism and fandom. It would be a significant impact to the UK economy to see the end of the monarchy. That said, even today children grow up dreaming of being kings, queens, princes and princesses. As a child, I remember talking of being an astronaut, a fireman, a policeman, etc. So royalty, as a child's dream, is certainly not as awful as one may think.
I'm sure there is a massive downside to this life, however. Even lesser royals in the UK family, and other European nations, complain of the paparazzi, the attention and need to be exposed constantly to the public eye. Unlike politicians, who choose this exposure as part of their role in governing, royals are born into it. As a result, they need to be trained and nurtured to understand and manage that life. I'm not sure it's one I'd enjoy much. I have my own internal struggles leading the Urban Hike.
Here we are, though, with an American living her childhood dream of becoming a princess (yes, they have video of Meghan Markle doing what most kids do and dream of being a princess). It must have been a wonderful feeling, one of great joy. Few children get to experience the achievement of any dreams of their youth.
But now it's all gone a tad sideways for Harry and Meghan. It's their own fault, of course. I won't fault them, though, for two reasons. First, they still have lots of wealthy friends and plenty of money. Second, while it's easy to point to Meghan as the 'cause' of all this (and many do), Harry has to shoulder some of the blame since he's been a willing participant.
For me, the idea of taking the royal family seriously is hard to do. They are not paragons of morality, wisdom, wealth well-managed, or even good behavior. That said, Queen Elizabeth reinvented herself many times and often showed great grace under pressure, humility and often even love. That last point is key because through history, love was never something a royal was supposed to show - love was a sign of weakness.
Instead, I view them as a filter of what ails us today, but also what can make us better. Reinvention, grace, humility - these are all good things.
Harry has spoken of these things as being meaningful to him, in rather ham-handed fashion. I'd say that problem is due to Meghan, but that's my view. I know others who think otherwise. Saying you want those good things that come with the territory and eschew the bad ones, despite your own bad choices being on full display, does little to generate sympathy or credibility.
Ultimately, these dramas are just dramas. There is really only one story here, and it has nothing to do with the Royal Family at all. It has to do with just being a decent human being, a person who is part of a family (regardless of whether it's royal or non-royal) and being honest about who you are and aren't, as a person.
Neither side in this equation is being 100% honest. They cannot possibly be, nor are they ever likely to be. But Harry and Meghan have taken their lack of honesty to new lows. It's become increasingly clear they are all about the fame and money. Harry can say all he wants that he hates the attention, doesn't want the fame, doesn't want the money. He has said these things, many times. Yet everything he's done has been to attract attention and money.
We know the Royal Family exists simply for attention, fame, and money. There can be no other reason for it, in the modern era, it creates more revenue for the UK than it asks for from the state. It is, for all intents and purposes, a corporation of sorts. It's not a horrible one, either. At least they aren't exporting arms, selling drugs, or shopping around a lifestyle (Charles has tried to sell the leftist/green lifestyle but he's a lousy spokesperson for all that). William and Kate seem to have a more modern view of their roles and largely remain silent on such issues.
Harry, it seems, wanted nothing to do with all of that, until he didn't have it anymore. Suddenly he became all about the attention, fame and money.
A common and popular trend today is the "Nepo Baby" concept, and Harry is the ultimate "Nepo Baby".
In the US we claim to not care about the royals or their lifestyle and "we fought a war to not deal with this stuff". It's all well and good, and none of this is true. The US loves royals, and even loves our own royals more than the UK's. We just have different kinds of royals. The Kennedys. The Clintons. The Obamas. The Kardashians. And so on. We create a weird kind of royalty here, and feel compelled to criticize the originals.
It's my view they are all open to criticism. They are all public figures. Like any human, all have faults. Some are just far more faulty than others, and egregiously so.
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:07 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
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Despite my Anglo-Saxon ancestry, I am thoroughly misAnglo (not phobic). The other four Anglophone countries have degenerated into Stasi police states. An English woman was arrested last week for silently praying outside a British abortion clinic. Not demonstrating in any way. Just standing there silently.
Our own USA is rapidly becoming a full-blown police state itself. The FBI can now add prior censorship of public media to its sordid murder history, Ruby Ridge, Waco, et al.
An don't forget our corrupt courts, Supremes down to mayor courts. The only thing that counts is who you are.
The goal for any monarch is "an heir and a spare". The spares - Andrew and now Harry - have not matured well as their "spareness" has become more and more obvious.
If you're not from a country where the Head of State is Charles III, you won't really ever understand the concept of the Crown, which is greater and more abiding in scope than the individual members of the Royal Family. It's supposed to be that way: the Queen is dead, long live the King!
As for the regrettable Markles of Montecito, they remind me of nothing so much as the late Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
I understand the Crown, having lived there. In fact, in some ways I consider monarchy to be preferable to democracy. In SOME ways. There are too many other flaws to it to allow it as a standalone concept (hell, the Spartans had more than one king, and our separation of powers in the US is stolen from them - they were remarkably well managed as a nation).
But there are aspects to monarchy which we here chose to remove ourselves from, with good reason. Sadly, we've drifted back into those poor behaviors in a democracy.
I am Anglo Saxon Scottish. Could care less about the royals. I don't dislike or disrespect them, they just aren't in my awareness ever. That being said Meghan is a complete and total asshole and Harry is a fool. In 5-10 years after their divorce Harry will go back to the royal family hat in hand and ask forgiveness. I hope he gets forgiveness but I really hope he learns a lesson.
So many are hoping he ditches that jealous person, of course he is jealous too. People may have forgotten that tried to prove he was all in on a full life with whatever her name is and didn't have her sign a pre-nup. Hope William was able to change his mind on that legal action. If he gets tired of being made to look like a grifter and a fool he will have to think how much he will lose before he acts.
'Plain as pig's tracks' as my mom used to say. I miss the Queen.
For the record. You describe Churchill's relationship with Ireland as 'tenuous'. This Irishman, at least, can see that his strengths ultimately outweighed his failures. It is that other man you mentioned in the same context, Cromwell, who would be most reviled in this country. Finally, he was reviled in his own.
I believe many Irish would agree with you (and me) about Churchill's beneficial qualities.
One of them was adaptability and willingness to change.
But, he was pretty brutal to the Irish. I'd say in many ways he redeemed himself.
Not an original thought of course... but didn't we fight a war to get rid of those people?
I literally said that in the post.
But I like to learn from others. Even those I've sought to avoid or wanted to get rid of.
In the end, I respect the Royal Family. How can you not? For all their faults and flaws, there is a lot there - history, honor, respect...
You can focus on the faults and flaws (nothing wrong with that, but it's a rather negative focus) or you can acknowledge them and also respect all the other positive aspects.
the best explanation I have heard of this si that the late Queen considered "Queen", "Prince", and "Princess" to not be titles so much as job descriptions; it's not something you are, it's something you do.
I think so much focus was on raising William to be the future king, not scads of concern was poured into Harry. William did not make the mistakes Charles did. But did anyone tell Harry that marrying was going to be an issue? He couldn't just marry someone and love will make sure everyone works out. I thought an American chick was a mistake because I don't think a single American understands the job description.
I think there are other reasons that Harry was not invested with the attention that was devoted to William, his DNA being a strong candidate, according to the rumor mill and family history, and supported by the resemblances, a la Trudeau/Castro and Farrow/Sinatra.