Melanie McDonagh

Why can’t Prince Harry be more like the Queen?

Why can't Prince Harry be more like the Queen?
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Are you feeling better? Anyone who’s seen Prince Harry address the WE Day – Me into We! – gathering in London yesterday of woke young people, chiefly teenage girls, may have taken time to get over the sheer emetic quality of the performance, but I’m there now, thank you.

But have you ever heard more unvarnished drivel? “You are the most engaged generation in history!” Harry told his audience. “You have the incredible opportunity to help reshape mindsets, to empower those around you to think outside the box and to work with you, not against you, to find solutions”, one cliché at a time presumably. The rumours about Meghan helping write his speeches? I believe them all. There is no way that the prince in his old incarnation of a mildly inarticulate bloke at home in the army could have come up with the stuff he produced in those few short minutes. In emotional terms, he’s now channelling Oprah plus Justin Trudeau.

He told the gathering, “I love you too!”. Well, you can’t imagine HM the Queen saying that; in fact the measure of the way the Royal Family has sunk from royalty to Oprah Winfrey is precisely in the extent Harry, in his woke way, has parted company from the emotional continence of the Queen to this shameless sucking-up. You’re “progressive…open-minded change-makers”. Yep, that has his lovely wife all over it. She came to join him onstage at the end to look at him in that cute Julia Roberts sort of way, hold his hand and hold her tum, but every word of it – besides her favourite Martin Luther King quote – seemed straight from the Meghan school of social change: as a celeb, you must be seen to care, really to care.

Except that directly after the event he nipped off to Berlin, presumably by air. I don’t know why Harry was there but the Sussexes’ compassion for the environment doesn't appear to embrace economising on air travel. I refer you to Meghan’s baby shower – the one that cost an estimated £300,000 – to and from which she travelled by private jet, reportedly courtesy of the Clooneys.

The gathering he was addressing – WE – sort of sums all that up. It was established by two brothers and raises lots of money for good causes, but it sounds like one of the more extreme parodies of Titania McGrath:

“WE is a movement that exists for one reason: to make the world a better place. We are shameless idealists who believe that there is a version of our highest selves that comes from living a life of daily legacies. Our lives take on a deeper, transformative meaning when we impact the lives of others. I am WE.”

Like I say, you couldn’t imagine the Queen coming out with the stuff Harry did: “every raindrop is crucial”. I can’t handle the next generation of royals.

Written byMelanie McDonagh

Melanie McDonagh is a leaderwriter for the Evening Standard and Spectator contributor. Irish, living in London.

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