Prince Harry’s ghostwriters have come up with a brilliant title for his forthcoming book: “Spare”. Harry Windsor is entitled to the respect and consideration due to any human being beyond that his only public or political significance is that he was “the spare” to his elder brother William, the heir to the throne. Bloodlines are everything in hereditary monarchies. When he was born Harry was third in line to Queen Elizabeth II. He is now fifth in line to his father and will only move further out into obscurity as and when William and his children have further offspring.

Harry is of no significance other than what he can generate for himself. Primogeniture has resulted in disappointed, entitled, under-employed and spoilt “spares” in successive generations. Harry is the Prince Andrew or Princess Margaret of his generation. Edward VIII was the exception, managing to take up the booby role despite being born eligible for the main prize. For all the tributes being paid to Meghan Markle’s intelligence, and without questioning the couple’s love for each other, she undoubtedly miscalculated in marrying Harry if she thought her star power could ever displace William and Catherine as the most important Royal Couple. Contrary to Harry’s comments in the new documentary, to this extent she is not like his “mum”. Princess Diana was the mother of a future King.

As his father prunes back the monarchy to the main line of succession, Harry also has a problem as to how he can go on funding the opulent lifestyle to which he is accustomed. On that basis he and his wife can be commended for making their own money by cashing in on their life story. Netflix has reportedly paid Harry and Meghan a gobsmacking £88m for this series. Along with its other series, The Crown, Netflix will undoubtedly make its money back from its exploitation of the House of Windsor.

In the opening episodes, Harry is outraged that “royal correspondents are the PR arm of the Royal family – and get paid for it” without acknowledging that he is doing the same thing for himself. So far, the series has not contained much direct criticism of Royal family members beyond comparing the formality of Kate to American Meghan “informal, in ripped jeans and barefoot.” But it only has two unique selling points: criticism of the royal set-up back in England and intimate auto-intrusion into the privacy of the “very private” Harry Windsor family.

As the couple well know, there is great public appetite for more and more on this Royal soap opera. Most journalists of my acquaintance are reluctant to cover it but we know that it will attract more attention than most other stories.

Beyond producing a constitutional head of state, members of the Royal family seem to exist only to exist and be looked at. They are ordinary people, of no exceptional talent or achievement, rewarded with respect and adulation because of who they are. The most striking thing about the new documentaries is that the audience is invited to look in wonder at what are basically the banalities of life shared with everyman and everywoman. Being a child, growing up, meeting a partner, first meeting with the in-laws, having children, kid brought up in California has an American accent, shock… Even the defining tragedy of Harry’s life, losing a parent as a child, is shared 23,600 times each year by children in this country. The series is truly “the reality TV” which Harry complains of, with the couple as executive producers. The twist being that he is a prince of England and she is a mixed-race TV starlet from the US.

I am not really interested in Meghan and Harry and will not sit through every minute of their films. Nor, so far, by all reports, have they had anything new to say. By now most people will have made up their minds what they think about the couple. On balance it seems that people in the UK take a dim view and Americans, and much of the rest of the world, are on Team Meghan. Similarly, most people have drawn their own differing conclusions about racism at the palace following the exchange between Lady Susan Hussey and Ngozi Fulani. It would be a mistake to give Harry and Meghan’s “truth” more weight than it merits. It is what they feel but not The Infallible Truth.

In my experience as a TV film-maker, it was not acceptable for Netflix to use footage unrelated to the royals, but seemingly linked to them, in the promotional material for the programmes. Our standards are high. For example, British broadcasters are now strongly discouraged from using “noddies” – non simultaneously recorded images of the questioner – to ease the editing of an interview. But we should not be too pious now that it has come to light that the BBC’s Martin Bashir secured his epoch-defining interview with Princess Diana with forged documents.

The unprecedented access that Harry has now granted to his own family is a vivid reminder of how much control subjects have over access. It is not true, as Meghan says, that she is the only person ever to have “six grown men, paparazzi” camped outside their home in search of pictures. It may be an unattractive side of news gathering but almost anyone in the news from sports and entertainment stars, to scandal-hit politicians can expect similar treatment, which is regulated by laws.

Harry and Meghan are making remarkable efforts to reveal themselves on their own terms but they are unlikely to spoil the market of interest in them. If you put yourselves in the public eye, such as in a six-part Netflixseries, you are likely to draw still more attention. That may be why they are doing it. The catch, which the couple don’t like, is that others are entitled to a different version of truth about them.

Still, as Shakespeare had Shylock say in another context: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” Harry and Meghan are flesh and blood. My worry is that if we go on encouraging them to indulge their psychodrama and with similar determination to that shown by his mother, then more than “spares” may repeat themselves down the generations. It could all end in more tears.

The best advice to anyone who is not interested or who does not like what they see is don’t go “spare”, look away now.

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