On the other hand

All of us will have been gripped by the Harry and Meghan potboiler. If I read the majority view correctly, it would seem that there is very little sympathy for those two. Our dashing Harry has been captured by an American she-wolf, intent on carving out a royally embossed heist to her considerable advantage. He has been suckered into a La La Land relationship which demands verbal platitudes and to British eyes and ears, ridiculous sentiments and comments.

His winning ways – man of the people, charismatic, Army trained and fortified, have been transformed into a hollowed-out shell spouting meaningless and typical west coast rubbish – all the time with eyes on the main money chance with added personal profiling of the most dubious and self-serving nature. Where is understatement, self-denigration, British humour?

On the other hand – here we have a classic, genuinely loving relationship which is struggling to bridge the eternal gap between Americana and Britishness. This dilemma has been with us ever since those pesky so-called Indians threw our tea into Boston harbour. Just consider – their battle cry was ‘No taxation without representation’ which sounds very Brexit familiar. Remember that during WW2 we said that Americans were oversexed, overpaid and over here – their response was that we were undersexed, under paid and under Eisenhower. Nylons and gum – with one yank they were down. It has ever been thus. The pond never gets any smaller.

Their loving relationship has developed apace between a young man with a dishevelled past – just remember: the tragic death of his charmingly wonderful and muddled mother, a family which demanded duty before personal destiny, offering unlimited grandeur and wealth in exchange for a conformist attitude to history and an obedience to a regime which contained too many reminders of the agonies which beset his mother.

Why we ask, could he just not conform to the delightful image we wanted him to project – and accompanied by an alluring, newly-minted wife with many outstanding features and characteristics? After all, there is only one truly Royal Family. What could beat that?

So, what has driven them to launch their American lifeboat we ask? Money, independence, self-realisation, greed and self-assertion perhaps?

On the other hand, perhaps a genuine desire to do good, to change the world, to eradicate oppression, reduce prejudice, offer a viable and sustainable alternative to those huddled masses around the globe are their impellers?

Additionally, the desire to be independent, in control and self-authorising may also be strong motivators.

None of us know.

What we do know is that we feel snubbed, taken advantage of and presented with a situation which few us have experienced before – the 1936 Abdication. Another divisive American, another charismatic British member of the Royal Family. But that one was THE King. This one is – or was – the spare with a seemingly endless round of handshakes, garden parties and plaque openings ahead of him – or rather, them.

I believe that the root cause of this situation is the lingering fall out from our Harry never having a proper family. I have to tell you that from personal experience and a close-up view of the gilded carapaces in which the Royal Family live, they are definitely Royal but not a family as the majority of us would understand it. The real family for Harry was the Army – hierarchical, comradely, purposeful and all embracing.

Harry is creating his family in his own way and accompanied by a woman who also has had considerable tensions to cope with in her family. Perhaps we may not like or approve of what they are doing or on occasions how they are doing it but they are doing it the Frank Sinatra way.

Let’s wait and see what emerges over a decent period. It is possible that this new edifice will emerge with a fresh global imprint which we can learn to admire. Perhaps their considerable wealth will be channelled into many good causes and with spectacular results.

At the moment, we are entitled to criticise because many of our sentiments, feelings of right and wrong are being challenged and many of us do not like it.

But let’s allow time and a period of transition and then change to emerge, before we can justify our present feelings of anger, disappointment and bewilderment.

No news is ever as good or as bad as it first seems.

Duncan Christie-Miller

This article is solely the view of the author