Ross Clark

Harry, Meghan and the absurdity of the awards industry

Is the prince really a ‘legend’ of aviation?

  • From Spectator Life

Can I have a Legend of Aviation award please? I deserve it for the time I flew Aeroflot and lived to tell the tale. Then there was the time I flew from Denmark to Amsterdam, taking off from a snowbound runway in a twin-propped plane which looked like something out of Biggles; that was pretty hairy, too. But alas, I guess there wasn’t enough room on the list of this year’s honours, to be presented in a Beverley Hills ceremony compered by John Travolta. Prince Harry made the cut, along with Buzz Aldrin, but it seems I’ll have to wait until next year.

Harry and Meghan have achieved something useful: they have exposed once and for all the sheer vacuity of the awards industry

Yes, Prince Harry really is on the list – much to my puzzlement. I am sure that his two helicopter tours of Afghanistan were noble, but does he really deserve to be honoured along with the man who was second to walk out of the small capsule onto the surface of the moon?   

Harry and Meghan have become like Idi Amin with his chestful of spurious medals – they are weighed down with meaningless gongs that have been bestowed upon them by friendly organisations. To list a few of the honours they have received in the last couple of years: there was Meghan’s Women of Vision award last year from the Ms. Foundation for her ‘lifelong advocacy of women and girls’. (I guess a talent for self-promotion counts when you are a woman and a girl yourself). There was the 2021 award from Population Matters for announcing that they were going to do their bit for the environment by limiting their family to two children. (I’ve got two children, so can I have an award too? Or what about all those couples who have one child, or even none – shouldn’t they have pipped Harry and Meghan to the stage?)

Most notoriously was the Ripple of Hope awarded to them in December 2022 by the Robert F.

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