The dignity of Prince Harry

For the coronation of Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953, all the members of the Royal Family were present, with one notable exception: her uncle, the former Edward VIII, now the Duke of Windsor. Although Edward had attempted to build civil relations with his niece after her accession to the throne the previous year, it was widely – and correctly – believed that his toadying to her was largely connected to his wishing to extract money from her, and besides his publication of a scandalous and revelatory memoir, A King’s Story, in 1951 had seen him cast out into outer darkness by his family. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher,

Is Harry and Meghan’s Time profile a parody?

Of course the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are named in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2021. And of course their listing, which makes the publication’s front cover, is accompanied by a lavish citation and photos of the pair put together by Hollywood A-list stylists. Did we really expect anything less? Time truly has it all. First there are the photos. The couple are groomed beyond the imagining of mere mortals, their clothes carefully co-ordinated. They are artistically positioned in order to comprise both a beautiful image and a political statement. Yes, indeed! These are no ordinary celebrity snaps. They are Harry and Meghan’s meaningful portraits. The cover shot

The infuriating truth about Harry and Meghan’s activism

‘Why do you lot hate Harry and Meghan so much?’ It’s a question the formerly royal couple’s supporters often ask whenever the pair trend on Twitter, as a clip of the Sussexes’ latest pronouncement, or news of their latest corporate deal, goes viral. They think they already know the answer of course: it is sexism, racism or probably both. Meghan is a woman of colour who dares to speak out about equality and this infuriates gammons and ‘anti-woke’ commentators alike. But the answer is actually very simple, and has nothing to do with Meghan’s skin colour or sex. Harry and Meghan are profoundly annoying. They are virtue-signalling made flesh. They

Britain’s Covid baby bust is bleak news

These are lean times for hospitality and retail. But at least pubs and shops have their champions, popping up on our television channels and radio stations. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, or in this case, taxpayer-funded grants. Where, though, are the voices raised for another activity – also struggling before lockdown – and now facing its own unprecedented crash. Who cares about babies? Truly, births need a push. Predictions of a boom in coronababies were way, way off. Britain, in common with many other developed nations, is experiencing a sharp new slump in fertility, the full extent of which remains unclear. If our neighbours are anything to go by,

The Queen has a secret weapon in the War of the Waleses

It was a big call, sending the royals out and about straight after the Oprah interview. We have to be seen to be believed, as Her Majesty is said to have once observed. It’s a philosophy more complicated than it appears and one which should have the Sussexes worried. As a strategy, it’s not risk-free. Within 24 hours of ITV’s broadcast of the Meghan and Harry interview, Charles went to a vaccination centre in North London. A couple of days later, William was at an East End school. It’s amazing how rarely these things go wrong. True: appearances aren’t widely trailed in advance, armed officers are at hand, and to

Is Megxit the UK’s ‘George Floyd moment’?

Harry and Meghan are famously protective of their privacy and as a result hostile to those media outlets they don’t personally seek out. But of all the British broadcasters, ITV are regarded as having the best links with the estranged royal couple. News at Ten anchor Tom Bradby is known to be a friend of the Duke of Sussex and was responsible for bagging the 2019 interview in which Meghan Markle lamented that no one had asked if ‘she was ok.’ So it was with interest that Mr S read a blog published today by the channel’s highly regarded Royal Editor Chris Ship. In the article Ship focuses on possible upsides of

The Royal response to Harry and Meghan is too little, too late

They are 61 words that have taken more than 36 hours to hone. An ancient institution delaying action while a global audience of millions devoured Harry and Meghan’s two hours of television exposure, with Oprah as their host: ‘The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved family members.’ Present, in Buckingham Palace’s response, is a reference to race – the most

Harry and Meghan have played a blinder

If bouquets and Bollinger were winging their way to Montecito last night they were well deserved. When Harry and Meghan met Oprah, the trio turned in the performance of their lives. From dramatic pauses, wiping away tears, hand-holding, Diana-reminiscent eye make-up, the English country garden-style backdrop interspersed with scenes from the chicken coop and shots of little Archie running along a Californian beach, to accusations and big reveals – everything was performed with absolute perfection. The build-up was justified. This did not disappoint. For Harry and Meghan, no doubt poring over press coverage, the success of their interview will be measured not in advertising revenue, or in viewing figures, but

Why Harry and Meghan’s revelations are so damaging

In one sense, Harry and Meghan’s exit from ‘The Firm’ doesn’t matter much. The pair are low enough down the pecking order that they are – or were, at least – relatively minor Royals. But nonetheless, their comments about the Royal Family may have fatally undermined this institution in the eyes of many young people. What could have been an easily dismissible, trivial soap opera – a family arguing, like most do ­– has made the rift between the Royals far worse. Within the space of a two-hour long Oprah interview we have seen the debate about Megxit entirely change. It is no longer a war of words over Royal roles that is the main

Meghan’s critics and defenders are both wrong

When it comes to Harry and Meghan, is it time for everyone to take a collective deep breath? With the build-up to the ‘tell-all’ Oprah interview and the recent disclosure of bullying allegations, it feels like hysteria around the couple is at fever pitch. In the war of the Waleses, is there room for a middle ground? The more vicious Meghan Markle’s critics are, the more her supporters portray her as an almost Christ-like figure. Her detractors then become irritated by the virtue-signalling, her defenders cite racism and sexism, and the vicious circle continues. Every action just seems to entrench each side’s position until there is no room for manoeuvre.

Why Meghan and the monarchy were bound to clash

Was Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal life inevitable? At the heart of our monarchy is an ideal of serving the public good that is not the same as the currently dominant form of progressive idealism espoused by the likes of Meghan. It is not the same as it, and when it comes down to it, it is not compatible with it. The British monarchy’s ideal of the public good is fairly vague, fairly flexible. But it entails a basic respect for tradition. And it entails the ideal of self-sacrifice. To serve the good means accepting constraints, accepting that you might not get what you want. It means accepting the possibility

What Prince Harry should know about the LA crowd

For some reason I unwaveringly support unearned wealth, but only if you are one of the Windsor children or any titled subjects who have somehow managed to keep a few pennies together. Frankly if in 2020 you’ve figured out how to monetize your ancestral money pit then all power to you. Other than this lot, the moneyed scions of the international parvenus can bring out my inner comrade. They come from all over and when you edit a luxury magazine, they pop up on the radar a fair amount. Each year, I am required for work to spend a week in Los Angeles to get covers booked and do some