I’m no anti-royalist. I see the value in the tradition and seeming prestige of a royal family looking all regal and elegant giving citizens and tourists something to gawk at in lieu of genuine positive change in their life. But today Prince Harry decided to become Harry in all but name. All his life he has been raised, educated and protected at others’ (the taxpayers’) expense, and now he wants to use those advantages and connections, that social and cultural capital to make his own economic capital, to cash in on his name and fame.
While I am sure Meghan is going to take the brunt of the media offensive which will no doubt prove their reasoning, I doubt she is to blame, but the media won’t care. The Queen will be disappointed and not understand the rejection of this duty, but she is the old guard. Maybe being born into something doesn’t fit the modern mind of individualism and pride built on self. Alas we all want a bit of escape but then spend the subsequent time looking for some foundation. That rejection of the comforts of conformity and with it the modern drift from larger families to 30% of housing being occupied by a sole tenant, to the rejection of marriage and children in Japan, the disinterest in religion to the celebration of new lifestyle cults are with us all. It may leave us bereft and lonelier. It seems a little inhuman.
Harry as he is now known to most people, formality only exists in formal circles, now wants to be his own man. Or possibly just to be left alone. He might be a test case. He might even start the beginning of the end for the British Royal Family’s status. Certainly after the Queen dies, interest will dwindle and the unfairness will be clear. Harry will need to give up his official title. After all, you can keep saying you work for the CIA (odd choice I know) when you don’t. He’ll have to hand back the keys to the palaces and join everyone else in the line at the airport until he can afford it for himself.
I won’t miss him. I don’t miss any of them. But I like history and possibly this is the beginning of their history.