And, perhaps more importantly, considering that younger people tend to be less enamoured of the Windsors than older generations, how was William shaping up?
Well, in light of the revelations so far in Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, we can rest assured. Charles emerges as slightly eccentric, hardly a surprise, and, like any normal father, anguished over his sons’ fall-out.
His determination to make Camilla – ludicrously described as “dangerous” by Harry – his Queen in spite of alleged opposition from Harry and William attests not just to his devotion but to his sound judgement.
But the Prince of Wales also rises from Harry’s tawdry tell-all with his reputation, and his suitability for his royal destiny, enhanced.
Far from being damaged by his peeved brother’s disclosures, and efforts to paint him as the baddie, William comes across as decent and dutiful, but also passionate in defence of all he holds dear.
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When Harry, in this embarrassing work of self-sabotage, accuses William of being his “polar opposite”, most people in this country would agree, readily and with relief. Imagine the alternative – that our future monarch was a newly captured Californian, driven by grievance and greed.
William, Harry says, is immersed in his position as heir to the throne. This may, on occasions, have resulted in petty scraps – beard protocol at weddings, for instance – but, on balance, gravity about his fate is surely a laudable trait.
Even the most explosive gossip about his brother – that he apparently assaulted Harry during an altercation in the Sussexes’ Kensington Place flat – speaks of William’s honour in the face of provocation.
This is sibling rivalry at fever pitch and, as super privileged then thirtysomethings, both princes should regret their loss of control – most brothers, or sisters even, exhaust the physical expression of their competitive angst in their teens.
The row blew up when William confronted Harry over his wife’s behaviour. The incident took place, if Harry is to be believed, in 2019. This, we now know, was after bullying complaints against Meghan were submitted by Jason Knauf, the brothers’ former joint communications secretary.
Harry writes that William insulted him and called his wife “a difficult person” and “rude”, before physically pushing him to the floor.
If William did challenge his spoilt brother over his equally spoilt wife’s treatment (denied by her) of long-suffering palace staff, his instincts, if not his methods, are to be applauded.
While William, and Kate, may appear regal in Spare, allegedly uncomfortable hugging Meghan and objecting to unsolicited chumminess, who can blame them for their froideur?
Early on, it seems that the Sussexes had their own agenda that ran contrary to promoting the interests of the monarchy. But William’s job is to uphold the institution, at all costs.
Why did Harry write Spare, apart, of course, for the multi-million dollar reward? The six-part Netflix whinge fest was Meghan’s magnum opus, but the book is Harry’s.
It boils down to jealousy, the insatiable sort that is only tempered by revenge. William is Harry’s “arch nemesis” because William, by the crime of being born first, defines who Harry is. Or Harry lets him.
This inferiority complex preceded his marriage – he moans about the size of his bedroom at Sandringham – but Meghan was not a mellowing influence.
Together, they were stung by the splendour of William and Kate’s Kensington Palace apartment. Meghan, said Harry, walked around repeatedly murmuring “wow” as they compared it, “half- ashamedly”, to their Ikea lamps and bargain sofa.
As the Spare circus rolls on, with three television interviews still to come, speculation mounts over the potential harm worldwide inflicted by Harry on his family.
How could the Wales’s show their faces in America after this, one commentator asked. And Tina Brown, author of the recent The Palace Papers, told the Today programme yesterday that Harry and Meghan had “won” in the US.
What rubbish. Reactions from the American media suggest weariness bordering on contempt for the self-obsessed Sussex bandwagon, with one outlet labelling their victimhood narrative a “whine tour”.
Meanwhile, criticism has come from more sensitive quarters that should serve as a warning to Harry and Meghan that they cannot depend forever on milking their royal connections for cash.
“Shut up Harry,” said ex-Royal Marine Ben McBean, the wounded veteran said to be the inspiration behind Harry’s acclaimed Invictus Games.
“You have said your piece, you have been paid, and you said you wanted peace and quiet, so go and enjoy your peace and quiet,” said McBean, reported The Sun.
And the family of Nelson Mandela have also said enough is enough after Harry and Meghan “stole” quotes from Mandela for their next Netflix show, comparing their perceived troubles with Mandela’s long walk to freedom.
The late South African president’s granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, told The Australian newspaper the comparison was “upsetting and tedious”.
To date, the royal family have refused to comment on Harry and Meghan’s claims. Dignified silence should continue to be their policy. Not only should they say nothing publicly, but they should say nothing to the Sussexes.
Harry said he wants his family to “sit down and talk” but the pair, as they have demonstrated, are not to be trusted. In the run up to the coronation on May 6, the best ploy to avert further nastiness is to keep shtum and stop feeding material to the Montecito money grubbers.
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