Four months into his reign, King Charles has seen his fair share of drama: two prime ministers and a wave of public attacks from his second son. ‘I would like to get my father back,’ says the Duke of Sussex, in part of a television interview to promote Spare, his book, which is released next week.
The book is, of course, not exactly a sincere appeal for familial unity. It is yet another broadside against Harry’s family, the House of Windsor. The main revelation is a story about how an argument with his brother once escalated into a fight: one in which he says his necklace was ripped. The public are by now familiar with Prince Harry’s story: the royal family’s ‘never complain, never explain’ motto is a deception, he says, as he explains his complaints. The institution frequently briefed, leaked and planted stories against him and his wife, he claims.
Harry and Meghan have for some time been pitching themselves as a more modern alternative to the corrupt, jealous, borderline-racist institution in London. Self-exiled in California, the House of Sussex has engaged in all sorts of fashionable causes. For all their resentment of press intrusion, they have sought to build a media business out of their identity – with podcasts, television interviews, books and Netflix shows.
Yet Prince Harry’s repeated attacks pose no serious threat to the monarchy, because his arguments are so thin. He just says the same things over and over again. ‘This is about race,’ declared the trailer to his Netflix series, but Harry and Meghan have not substantiated this incendiary accusation. They make vague hints at some major transgression that they are too dignified to share, but so far that’s it. Polls suggest that the majority of British people do not believe the monarchy is racist. The couple would no doubt attribute that to the entrenched prejudices of the unenlightened British public.