JAN MOIR: Harry’s war of grievance against the press is only going to hurt his father ahead of his Coronation
What does one give one’s Pa to mark the monumental occasion of his ceremonial ascension to the throne?
A sacred moment he has been preparing for his entire life? A pair of socks or box of chocs just won’t cut it on this day of days. Something in a silver frame? Seems a bit lame.
So you have to give Prince Harry a ribbon of tattered credit for handing King Charles a coronation gift he will never forget. Or possibly forgive.
How could he? Just over a week before the coronation, which will be beamed around the world to a television audience of millions, Harry has peeled open a fresh seam in his obsessive war of grievance against the British Press.
He is suing News Group Newspapers over alleged historical unlawful information-gathering, one of three major cases being brought, including one against this newspaper group.
Prince Harry suing News Group Newspapers over alleged historical unlawful information-gathering, one of three major cases being brought, including one against this newspaper group
At a time when Charles and Camilla need it least, he has dragged the embarrassing memory of Tampongate back into the public arena and also suggested that Prince William agreed a settlement with NGN
That is entirely his right, but it is the monarchy, more than anything else, that his actions damage the most.
Boom, boom, boom goes the ordnance from Harry’s cannons of wrath, straight through the castle ramparts and into the inner sanctum, imploding any remnants of family calm before the big day.
At a time when Charles and Camilla need it least, he has dragged the embarrassing memory of Tampongate back into the public arena and also suggested that Prince William agreed a settlement with NGN.
Like a conspiracist high on his beloved ayahuasca and the rich fumes of hubris, the Duke of Sussex went on to allege in court this week that a secret pact exists between senior members of the Royal Family and newspaper bosses.
This seems to be news to absolutely everyone except Harry, although he provided little of the density of detail that might helpfully support such a notion.
Not for the first time it crossed my mind that just because Harry passionately believes something does not necessarily mean that it is true.
To peruse his 31-page statement to the court is to understand — as fantastical as it seems — that Harry sees himself not as a man possessed, but as a knight in shining armour; the great redeemer not only of himself and his family, but of the Government, the media industry, the people of this great country, the country itself and indeed the very concept of democracy.
The Duke of Sussex went on to allege in court this week that a secret pact exists between senior members of the Royal Family and newspaper bosses
‘Our country is judged globally by the state of our Press and our government — both of whose reputations I believe are currently at rock bottom,’ fumes this great international statesman, conveniently forgetting that no one has done more than he to damage this country’s image around the world. Primarily by claiming it to be a racist backwater from which he and his apparently victimised wife were so desperate to escape.
The statement makes it clear that Harry believes the Royal Family are a bunch of gullible fools being led through the noses by evil media forces they don’t understand, while only he and he alone is wise enough to put on his Goggles of Perception and see the Real Truth.
It’s almost embarrassing! Everyone likes to swim in their own sea of pet delusions, God knows I have a thrash myself now and again, but Harry is drowning in a glutinous pool of sheer fantasy.
He blames tabloid newspapers for everything bad in his life, including his teenage drug-taking, his drinking, his exam failures and even his fondness for playing naked billiards in Las Vegas.
Why? Because he felt he had to ‘play up’ to the headlines and stereotypes ‘they wanted to place upon me’.
In the meantime, it has been three years since Megxit — and how interesting that now we can see the real Prince Harry, in all his glory
READ MORE: Meghan WILL attend the coronation… in miniature: Tiny figurines show the Duke and Duchess of Sussex present in Windsor for celebrations – as other toy brands release royal replicas
Tiny replicas of the royal family, created by Babbacombe Model Village which is based in Torquay, Devon, shows the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured) present in Windsor after King Charles’s coronation
He claims ‘the tabloids would constantly try and coax me, a “damaged” young man, into doing something stupid that would make a good story’.
What? Everything is everyone else’s fault, which takes the concept of wilful unaccountability to a whole new level of victimhood.
I don’t dispute that Prince Harry has had some difficult times, but there comes a point in life when you have to stop blaming others and take responsibility for yourself. It is staggering that this 38-year-old former soldier and father-of-two has yet to reach that level of maturity.
He is the bad apple who will not ripen, for at his core blooms the black pip of eternal petulance.
The courts will decide if his case has merit. In the meantime, it has been three years since Megxit — and how interesting that now we can see the real Prince Harry, in all his glory. What an unedifying sight it is.
Since he has escaped the stultifying clutches of the Royal Family — or ‘the institution’, as he insists — Harry is free to be his own man. Free from the ameliorating, wise hands of courtiers and private secretaries who perhaps saved him from himself more often than he ever understood.
We learnt this week that Harry believes his long-held concerns regarding newspapers were brushed aside by courtiers bent on a long-term strategy to ‘smooth the way for my stepmother (and father) to be accepted by the British public as Queen Consort (and King respectively) when the time came’.
Who can know if that is true or not but, if it were, wouldn’t it make perfect sense? Doesn’t it suggest the kind of compromise and pragmatism that any thriving dynasty or successful company needs to employ to survive?
It all seems to suggest that when he was still a working member of the Royal Family, Harry — then later, Harry and his wife — could never accept that he was not the most important biscuit in the tin. Nor that sometimes his wants and needs had to be sacrificed for the greater good of all.
This again is one of the harder lessons of life to learn, but it is what millions of us must come to terms with at home, at work and in relationships.
Because, you know what? It’s not always about you. It is not always going to go your way, but that is no reason to throw your family under the bus on the highway to your higher moral purpose.
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